What Is The Root Cause Of Sugar Cravings
The root cause of sugar cravings is a micronutrient deficiency. The human body is intelligent and gets us to crave foods that contain the nutrient we may be missing. For example, you may be strongly craving chocolate because you have a magnesium deficiency chocolate is a rich source of magnesium! Moving forward, make sure youre checking your vitamin levels and aiming to eat foods rich in the nutrients you need, without the high levels or sugar.
Why Am I Craving Sugar All Of A Sudden And Remedies
A strong desire to consume a particular type of food is called a food craving. It is very common for people to develop a craving for sugar in the form of chocolate, ice-cream, cake etc. According to the World Health Organization , it is recommended that added sugars and natural sugars should constitute only 5% of an adults daily calorie intake.Due to our current lifestyle, the consumption of refined sugars in the form of sweets, chocolate, soda etc.has increased. Long-term consumption of large quantities of sugar is associated with an increased propensity for developing obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Its therefore important to understand sugar craving, its contributing factors and effective methods to handle it.
Not Eating Enough Chronic Dieting:
Many people try to lose weight by cutting calories, but this often leaves the body starved for nutrients it needs like healthy fats and protein. One of the first signs of protein deficient is actually craving sweets and never feeling full, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D., author of The Flexitarian Diet. This is because proteins most critical functions include keeping your blood sugar steady. If your body doesnt get enough protein, your glucose levels bouncing up and down, encouraging you to reach for a quick fix from candy or crackers.
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Other Things That May Work
I am pretty sure the three steps above would work for most people to shut down a sugar craving.
But of course, the best option by far is to prevent these cravings in the first place.
To do that, toss all out of your house. If you keep them within close reach, youre asking for trouble. Instead, keep healthy foods within easy reach.
Also, if you eat healthy and exercise several times per week, chances are you wont get cravings nearly as often.
Here are 11 more useful tips to stop sugar cravings:
Numerous other methods may help you overcome a craving for sugar. These include drinking a glass of water, getting good sleep and eating high-protein foods.
Why Do People With Diabetes Crave Sugar
There can be many reasons why one craves for sweets. Generally, people who eat a lot of carbohydrates like rice, bread, potato, bagels, muffins, pasta, soft drinks and desserts tend to have very high blood glucose levels. They get an urge to eat something sweet when their blood glucose level drops.
Pancreas is an organ in your body that releases the sugar-lowering hormone insulin when you eat something. This helps the excess glucose from the food to be used as energy or get stored in the body.
For people with diabetes, the body does not react to the insulin, the excess glucose remains in the blood and the blood glucose level rises. Since your body is not getting the required amount of energy, you start to feel lethargic. As a result, you begin craving sugar as your body starts to look at sugar as a quick source of energy.
Also, when using insulin and drugs to help lower blood glucose levels, your blood sugar level might drop below normal which may cause cravings for sugar. This happens more frequently if you are sensitive towards these medicines.
In this case, along with a craving for sugar you might also experience: Shakiness
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Sugar Cravings: 4 Reasons They Happen And How To Stop Them
Sugar cravings are the worst.
Its like a little army of meanies grab hold of you and torture you until you feed them jellybeans, right?
Give into this craving too often and you might be setting yourself up for a slew of negative health outcomes. All that extra sugar can lead to higher caloric intake and contribute to chronic inflammation. In a randomized controlled trialof 29 healthy young men, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption increased inflammatory blood markers in just three weeks. On the flipside, data from a national US cohortstudyfound that reduced sugar-sweetened beverage consumption was correlated with a reduction of inflammatory and chronic disease biomarkers. Understanding this research makes it not surprising that excess sugar consumption is linked to an increased risk of conditions such asheart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Yet, sugar cravings can still be so hard to resist.
Sugar cravings affect everyonemyself and Natalie Jill included. Clients ask both of us about this quite often, so we thought wed explain why they happen and what you can doto fight them.
The key to dealing with sugar cravings is to start with understanding why youre getting them in the first place.
Youre Not Listening To Your Body
Jonesing for a sweet or salty treat? Before you indulge, check your fatigue level. Research shows that when youre tired, youre more likely to turn to whatever you crave to get more energy or to wake up, Taylor says.
Perhaps you find yourself bingeing on salty snacks. The next time it happens, pay attention to your stress level. Stress may impair your adrenal glands ability to regulate sodium, which may lead to salt cravings, she says.
Take thirst into account, too. Some research suggests that mistaking dehydration for hunger may trigger cravings as well, she adds.
Finally, if you have diabetes, you probably know you get hungrier than other people. But excessive hunger can mean your blood sugar is too high or too low.
If you find yourself craving sweets, check your blood sugar first, Taylor suggests. If its over 200, try going for a walk or other light to moderate cardiovascular exercise, drinking a big glass lots of water or, if your doctor prescribes it, take insulin. If your blood sugar is less than 80, eat 15 grams of carbohydrates to help bring it back up to a safe range.
Understanding the reasons why you crave these sweet and salty foods can help you reduce those cravings and work toward a more balanced diet.
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Smile Away Your Cravings
It may sound strange that smiling could reduce food cravings, but its true!
Because negative emotions often drive us to emotional eating and the consumption of sugary foods, researchers put it to the test. They found that if you get a craving, simply smile instead of frowning.
The face cue of smiling was shown to significantly reduce cravings compared to those who frowned. So you never know, this simple trick may just work for you!
Dont Mistake Tiredness Boredom Or Anxiety For Hunger
People eat for a variety of reasons, but its not always hunger that drives their decisions.
If youre tired, you should rest. If youre bored, you should find something to do with your hands other than snack on sugar, like knit, read a book, or go on a bike ride.
If youre struggling with anxiety, try some deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to calm your nerves instead of a candy bar laden with sugar.
The 5 Underlying Causes Of Sugar Cravings
July 28, 2015 by Jaimi Jansen
Walk in to any company breakroom and it may be almost impossible to resist the display of donuts, bagels and muffins staring you in the face. What might seem like a harmless sweet treat, can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and overall health. Due to the excess calories many people now consume from highly processed food products, 70 percent of Americans are overweight or one in two Americans has pre-diabetes or Type 2 diabetes.
The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar a day, mostly hidden. Dr. Mark Hyman
While many people try to use willpower to overcome constant cravings for sugar, these urges might be symptoms of a deeper problem that needs first be addressed in order to break free. Sugar cravings are often the number one obstacle that many people face when it comes to adapting a healthy diet. The amount of sugar a person has in the diet is now believed to greatly increase their risk for serious illness including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, ADHD, Alzheimers, and cancer.
In order to reduce your sugar intake, it is important to learn what drives the body to desire sugar in the first place. Here are some of the most common cause of sugar cravings that you might not be aware of and need your attention.
Emotions Are Driving You To Eat
Sometimes, craving sugar isnt caused by a deficiency in your diet, but by an excess of stress in your life. When you turn to food for comfort, this association creates cognitive patterns that encourage eating in response to stress. In turn, this may be why you are craving sweets during difficult times. Studies have proven that stress promotes unhealthy food intake and leads to health problems.
To helpcontrol stress eating, try these tips:
- Recognize when you tend to eat emotionally: At a certain time of the day? After an event? When you’re alone, or perhaps when you’re with friends?
- Swap out your go-to comfort food item for a healthier alternative.
- Establish new habits when you feel stressed like taking a walk, calling a friend, or doing something creative.
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Why Is Sugar Addictive
Many people simply wonder why sugar is addictive. Certainly, not many people report an addiction to broccoli, so there has to be a reason! That reason is found in the chemical release of hormones in our brain when we eat sugar.
With every sweet bite, dopamine is released from our brain into our bodies. This is the link between added sugar and addictive behavior that is also found in substances such as alcohol, cigarettes, and illegal drugs.
The neurotransmitter dopamine is part of the reward circuit in the brain thats associated with addictive behavior. The high one feels from eating sugar makes one addicted to said behavior , creating a vicious cycle.
As you repeat the behavior more often your body adjusts to release less dopamine over time. The only way to feel the same high as before is to increase the release of dopamine, which in this case means to eat more and more sugar.
These same behaviors are found in people with drug and alcohol dependencies, but for sugar, the ingredient is much more accessible, available, and socially acceptable than illegal drugs, making it also much harder to avoid in everyday life.
On average, an average adult in the U.S. consumes around 77 grams of sugar a day, or about 60 pounds of sugar per year!
Why We Crave Sugar And How To Beat The Habit
It is the end of January, and Instagram is bursting with self-effacing pictures of people who swore off sugar at the beginning of the month, only to fail. My boys both decided to cut back on the sweet stuff that became commonplace over the holidays, but they too are struggling. The soda they drank every time we went to a party, the leftover pie that seemed bottomless and the Pop Tarts I bought as part of my resolution to rethink restriction continue to call their names. Why is sugar so powerful, and how can we beat it?
Sugar has been shown to have an effect on the brain similar to that of an addictive drug. In fact, quickly removing it from your diet can cause withdrawal symptoms, including fatigue, depression, headaches and muscle aches. No wonder it isn’t easy to quit.
Not easy, but not impossible, although there are a few questions to answer before weaning yourself off sugar. First, is your blood sugar unbalanced? Next, are you getting enough of the right nutrients? Last, do you sleep enough, and are you able to manage stress? The answers to those questions will help you figure out what, specifically, you need to address to beat sugar successfully. And there are some additional hacks that can help anyone trying to tame their sweet tooth.
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How To Stop The Craving
So one way to get around this little conundrum is to just choose something sweet with artificial sweetener in it, right? Wrong! So, so wrong. Artificial sweeteners might momentarily satisfy that sweet craving, but they trick your body into thinking its getting fuel when its not. Your body soon goes looking for more calories in the form of, you guessed it, sugar, and youre right back where you started.Calories are the only thing that provides real energy, so eat them consistently, in the form of whole foods which provide adequate protein, healthy fat and fiber. Take a look at your diet. Are you skimping on or eating any of these nutrients inconsistently?
How Does Gut Imbalance Cause Sugar Cravings
An imbalance in your gut health can also cause sugar cravings. A healthy gut is very important to your overall wellness. If youre someone who eats a lot of sugary and processed foods, the bacteria in your digestive system end up feeding on the sugar in your diet, making your sugar cravings even worse!
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Using The Wrong Types Of Sugar Substitutes
If youre craving sweet soda, your first instinct might be to reach for a diet beverage as a healthy substitute. However, this may be a reason youre craving sugar.
According toHarvard Health, artificial sweeteners can change our relationship to the taste of food, making us more likely to choose artificial sugars in place of natural sugars, like those found in fruit. If you get used to sugar substitutes, you may inadvertently start reaching for other sweet foods with high caloric value, not realizing how many calories youre consuming.
The good news is, not all sugar substitutes are created equal. Check out our guide to thebest artificial sweetenerto learn more about how different types of sweeteners affect your body.
Include Fruit At Meals For A Balanced Diet
Yes, fruits do contain sugars and have an impact on your blood sugar levels. However, this doesnt mean they should be avoided when you have diabetes. Fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Additionally, their sweetness can help satisfy sugar cravings and make you less likely to grab that candy bar an hour after lunch.
Make sure to choose whole fruits over fruit juices. Whole fruits contain fiber, which makes them more nutritious and helps contribute to feelings of satiety.1 In a study that compared the effect of fruit on energy intake and satiety, researchers found that when participants ate a whole apple before lunch, total lunch energy intake was lower and fullness ratings were higher than for those who consumed applesauce or apple juice before lunch.2
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Eat More Low Glycemic Foods
Food with a low glycemic index wont spike your blood sugar. Even though they contain carbs, theyre high in fiber, so they take longer to digest. Some of my favorite low glycemic foods also happen to be packed with vitamins and antioxidants that can support a healthy immune system. These include:
- All berries
- Leafy green vegetables
- Orange vegetables and fruits
- Nuts and seeds
Lean proteins like chicken and fish actually score a big fat zero on the glycemic index scale. That means they have no carbohydrates, so they wont raise your blood sugar. They also provide amino acids that your body needs to build the proteins in your immune system. Poultry, fish, and eggs are all great choices.
How Do You Handle Cravings When Living With Diabetes
According to Ms Cooke, food cravings are “non-hungry eating”.
“They happen when you’re bored or procrastinating. Or even just from habit. Once you understand that, you can manage cravings better,” she says.
“Don’t think about it as deprivation. Ask yourself, ‘Do I really need to eat this food while I’m doing this task?’
“Delay the gratification and see how you feel after 10 minutes.”
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How Should Diabetics Manage Sugar Cravings And Sports Drinks
Q1. I am a type 2 diabetic. I do well with meals, but I crave something sweet constantly, and most times I lose the battle to resist. How can I get rid of this craving once and for all?
Despite popular beliefs about how blood sugar levels relate to craving, there is very little if any evidence indicating this to be true. Food cravings are largely a psychological phenomenon that relates to old habits and learning. The most likely reason that we see cravings in folks like you who have developed type 2 diabetes may simply be that the history of eating patterns that contributed to the development of the diabetes is persisting. Here’s the good news: As is the case with all learned behavior, cravings can be “unlearned.”
Cravings can arise in several ways. If you have used food to reward yourself, make yourself feel better when stressed or upset, or celebrate certain special events, depending on how frequently you do this, those foods can become associated with any of the above examples. When you feel these emotions, or are in the situations associated with that food, that association triggers thoughts about the food in other words, a craving. The problem is that over a lifetime, the number of subtle triggers that become solidly paired with these foods grows. So its sometimes impossible to put your finger on the cause of the craving, which leads people to assume its being triggered by some internal physiological need .