How to Ditch Sugar Cravings for Health and Weight Management
Causes glucose levels to spike and plummet, leading to mood swings, fatigue, cravings, and headaches
Increases risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes
Can interfere with immune system function
Can negatively impact chromium levels in the body
Causes tooth decay
Can cause gum disease
Takes the place of vital nutrients
Excess intake of sugar has been linked to countless health issues. Unfortunately, food manufacturers have only added more and more of it to our foods over the years - even to things we wouldn’t consider sweet, like meat, spaghetti sauce, and crackers. Even knowing the issues it causes, it can be a hard habit to quit, as sugar tricks our brains into wanting more.
So how do we kick those sugar cravings?
Probiotics - Our gut microbiome goes far beyond just impacting our digestion. It influences our neurotransmitters, which are responsible for hunger, mood, and focus. Everything from anxiety and depression to autism, Parkinson’s, cognition, and hunger have been linked to gut health. It’s also important to note that we tend to crave more of what we eat. On the one hand, that can be troublesome, as it is potentially part of the reason we keep craving sugar once we’ve gotten used to eating it. However, the good news is that by changing what we eat, and the diversity of our microbiome, we can change what we crave. How do you cultivate a healthy, diverse gut microbiome? Bone broth and fermented food sources of probiotics such as sauerkraut, kefir, and kombucha tea are a great addition to your diet. High quality probiotic supplements can also potentially help.
Stay Hydrated - Hunger and thirst can often be confused, so if you’re craving something sweet, start with a glass of water.
Eat Healthy Fats - Do this regularly! Avocado, coconut oil, steak, eggs, butter, healthy fats like this keep your blood sugar more stable. More blood sugar spikes equal more cravings. Opt for grass-fed or pastured whenever possible.
Check Food and Drink Labels - Sugar is added to many non-dessert foods, making it especially important to check food and drink labels. Also be sure to familiarize yourself with the many alternate names for sugar and sweeteners, including:
High fructose corn syrup
Evaporated cane juice
Make Healthy Swaps - Try incorporating healthy alternatives when you’re craving something sweet. Search for recipes that natural sweeteners like fruit and raw honey, which have a lower glycemic index and aren’t just empty calories like sugar.
Prepare and Plan - Don’t go shopping hungry, plan out healthy meals, make detailed shopping lists. Pack a healthy lunch and snacks for work or other times you’ll be away from home. These tactics will help you stay on track, and make you less likely to give in to cravings when they hit.
Wait it Out - Go for a walk, eat something healthy and filling, engage in a hobby. Get in the habit of asking yourself if you are physically hungry for nutrients, or cravings something sweet out of boredom or stress.
Balance Your Body’s Ph Levels - Consuming rich leafy greens promotes healthier ph levels. This is important as a more acidic ph level in the body can feed sugar cravings and addiction.
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