How To Kick Your Sugar Cravings To The Curb!

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Like a lot of you guys out there, I’ve always had a sweet tooth – anything sweet, cakes, ice cream, chocolates, I used to gorge on them at the drop of a hat. Sugar was my vice like smoking is a vice for others….yep, that was me a few years ago! My system was full of the stuff. Now I know it partly contributed to creating the perfect breathing ground for toxins and disease in my body. I’ve come a long way since then and changes things around, and you can too….

According to an article in the Guardian, in the last two decades, British sugar consumption has increased by 31%, to 1.25lb per person per week. Though fewer and fewer of us take sugar in our tea, and sprinkle less over our cereals and puddings, we are actually consuming more.

Aubrey Sheiham, professor of dental public health at University College, London says “The proportions of what we call ‘visible sugar’ to ‘invisible sugar’ have changed dramatically”. “The number of bags of sugar sold has reduced since 1975, but more people are eating processed foods. They have no idea how much sugar they are consuming in canned drinks and pizzas.” Indeed, the average can of cola contains seven teaspoons of sugar. McVitie’s Go Ahead Fruit-Ins biscuits are 45.8% sugar. The weight-loss drink Slimfast is 61.9% sugar.

When you take into account all the sugar in cereals, fizzy drinks like coke and all other foods and snacks, it all adds up.

We can get addicted to sugar which is very dangerous to our health. According to Joshua Rosenthal (founder and director of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition), in his book Integrative Nutrition, sugar qualifies as an addictive substance for two reasons:

  1. Eating even a small amount creates a desire for more.
  2. Suddenly quitting (cold turkey) causes withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, mood swings, cravings and fatigue.

Unfortunately, there’s sugar in almost every food and drink out there like fizzy drinks, juices, bread, cereals, wholefoods, vegetables and even dried fruits, which are supposedly healthy, but are infused with sugar (why that’s done will always be a mystery to me). What we need to understand is the types of sugar we as individuals will allow into our bodies through our mouths. Although we can’t completely cut sugar out of our diet, we can definitely look to find ways to keep our sugar intake in check. One of my friends did recommend this Dentist in Endicott that she has regular check ups with. Having regular contact with your dentist can be a good idea, as they might be able to inform you if they start spotting any signs of tooth decay or any other problems that sugar may be causing to your oral health. Taking care of your teeth is important, so be sure to keep brushing them and visiting your dentist similar to many a Dentist in Louisville you can gain more information from about maintaining good oral health.

Dangers of sugar

Sugar can contribute to cellular inflammation which compromises cell function, which can cause a whole list of explosive eruptions in our body. Sugar feeds cancer cells, promotes weight gain, premature aging, heart disease, diabetes, candida and tooth decay – at the first signs of tooth decay, you really ought to get yourself seen to by your Dentist Coconut Grove. All these diseases develop progressively over several years of continuous sugar consumption. By no means am I trying to indicate that sugar is the only cause of these diseases, but when you add sugar into the mix of an already toxic, stressed out environment, it makes it much easier for diseases to form and progress.

As previously stated, we can find sugar in almost every food and drink out there but it is the type of sugar we ingest that is very important and we need to be aware of. Unrefined sugar is a simple carbohydrate which occurs naturally in foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables and brown rice. They contain many vitamins and minerals, and when eaten are broken down into glucose molecules which are then released and burned slowly into the blood stream, giving you a steady stream of energy and you don’t feel hungry quickly.

On the other hand, processed/refined sugars have no vitamins or minerals, which is why the digestive system works harder to digest them. Also known as sucrose, it is not easily digestible which means the body uses up its store of minerals to absorb it properly. What we all know as a “sugar rush” is caused by refined sugar going directly into the blood stream causing the blood sugar levels to increase temporarily and then dropping – which is when we experience fatigue, brain fog and hunger. Then what we tend to do is reach for chocolate bars, fizzy drinks etc., and the cycle starts all over again. This tends to be common with a lot of people in the afternoon, an hour or two after lunch – “the afternoon slump” – I know I used to be one.

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So what can we do about our sugar addictions? Here’s what I did and am doing as it’s definitely still work in progress. I gradually got rid of all the sugar in my house and replaced them with substitutes like manuka honey and coconut palm sugar in the first instance and gradually got to the point where I don’t have the need to use.

  • Find healthier substitutes like maple syrup, lucuma powder or dates, which I use, sometimes for baking or making my snacks like nut balls. Other sweeteners include organic stevia, brown rice syrup etc. you have to try them out and find the one that best suits you.
  • Go for fruits instead of a cookie or doughnut. If I get a sweet craving, I cut up some apples and spread some nut butter on it.
  • Drink more water
  • Have a balanced meal (right amounts of carbohydrates, protein and good fats)
  • Include whole grains in your diet
  • Get your juicing on – by juicing more your body gets the necessary nutrients it needs to thrive and eventually reduces your cravings for sweet, processed foods
  • Include sweet vegetables in your diet like parsnips, carrots, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, beetroot. My personal favourite is having carrots and hummus, which is quite filling, and carrots are sweet as well.

For everything food or drink out there made with refined sugar, there is always a substitute. If you can’t find one, try to make something yourself. At least that way, you know exactly what’s in it and it’s to your own taste and preference. Food is meant to be enjoyed, there are no hard or fast rules but an abundance of recipes out there which you can try and make your own. The first time might turn out to be a disaster but if you stick at it, the second or third try may just be absolutely perfect.

Look after your body and your body will look after you.

Peace and fabulous health!

Gloria

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