Kick Sugar Cravings for Overall Health
Can interfere with immune system function
Increases risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer
Causes glucose levels to spike and plummet, leading to mood swings, fatigue, cravings, and headaches
Can negatively impact chromium levels in the body
Takes the place of vital nutrients
Causes tooth decay
Can cause gum disease
Consuming too much sugar has been associated with countless health issues. Unfortunately, food manufacturers have only continued to add more and more of it to our foods over the years - even to things we wouldn’t consider sweet, like crackers, spaghetti sauce, and even meat. Unfortunately, given its highly addictive nature it can be a hard habit to quit, as sugar tricks our brains into wanting more. But knowing all of the damage it causes, it’s imperative that we use all of the tools in our arsenal to keep sugar intake to a minimum.
But how do we kick those intense sugar cravings, especially if we’ve been struggling with the for awhile?
Check Nutrition 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 fake sweeteners, including:
High fructose corn syrup
Evaporated cane juice
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 - Blood sugar spikes equal more sugar cravings, so it’s important to keep blood sugar levels stable. You can accomplish this by eating healthy gats like avocado, steak, coconut oil, eggs, and butter. Opt for grass-fed or pastured whenever possible.
Probiotics - Our gut microbiome goes far beyond just digestion. It influences our neurotransmitters, which are responsible for mood, focus, — and hunger. Everything from depression and anxiety to cognition, autism, Parkinson’s, 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 why 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, kombucha tea, and kefir are a great addition to your diet. High quality probiotic supplements can also help.
Make Healthy Swaps - Try incorporating healthy alternatives when you’re craving something sweet. Fruit is nature’s candy, from anti-oxidant rich berries to vitamin C bearing kiwi and oranges, fruit is the ideal choice to satisfy your sweet tooth. To sweeten other foods, opt for raw honey or real maple syrup, they have a lower glycemic index and offer added health benefits instead of the empty calories in white and fake sugars. Also look for recipes that use that natural sweeteners like fruit and raw honey.
Prepare and Plan Ahead - Often in the heat of the moment, hunger pangs and temptation meet, resulting in unhealthy food choices. Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry, plan out healthy meals, and 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. These habits will also help keep your blood sugar and energy levels balanced.
Coconut oil is one of the richest sources of medium-chain fatty acids. It gets processed in the body as energy, minus the ensuing crash that comes from eating sugar. Incorporating coconut oil into your diet has been found to nip sugar cravings in the bud – fast!
Balance Your Ph Levels
A diet rich in leafy greens promotes healthier ph levels in the body. More acidic ph levels can feed your sugar cravings and addiction, whereas a more alkaline, balanced state has been found to help diminish sugar cravings. Regular exercise can also help promote alkaline Ph levels.
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.
The food you eat is the foundation for your health, so make healthy food choices and treat your body right!
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