Eating sugar can cause addiction. Scientific studies have proven that consuming sugar activates the same brain receptors as taking addictive drugs. Additionally, sugar consumption leads to craving more sugar, binging on sugary foods, and choosing foods with refined sugar content over natural sugars.
On top of all of this, it’s hard to find premade food that doesn’t have sugar added. The Food and Drug Administration has made the search for food without added sugar easier for purchasers, as they have a new labeling system which requires added sugars be listed explicitly. This new labeling should make it easier for consumers to work out what is in the food that you are eating. But even with this new information, refined and added sugar is hard to avoid.
Watch out for these sugars
When attempting to cut sugar from your diet, be on the lookout for sugar and sugar substitutes. These include:
- Aspartame-amino sweet
- Buttered syrup
- Corn syrup
- Ethyl Maltol
- Raw Sugar
There are many more names for sugars and artificial sweeteners, so be aware of what you are eating.
Replace refined sugar with natural sugars
While you are trying to wean yourself off of sugar, you may still want to eat something sweet. There are many natural sugars to be found. Fruits like dates and bananas can add sweetness to yogurt or shakes. Maple syrup, raw honey, molasses, and agave are great alternative sweeteners for coffee, cookies, or cereal.
By replacing refined sugars and artificial sweeteners with natural sources, you can help your body get used to lower amounts of sugar and sources of sugar that are simpler to digest.
Find the real cause of your craving
Your body interprets many things as sugar craving. It’s important to know what these are, as you can then resolve the problem instead of giving in to your desire for sugar. If you crave sugar, you may actually need:
Sources of protein like lean meat, wild fish, raw nuts, black beans, hard boiled eggs and more can balance your blood sugar and reduce sugar craving. Keep high protein snacks to hand when you are combatting sugar withdrawal.
Eating fiber can help you stay fuller longer. It can also fight symptoms of candida in your body. Nuts and seeds are excellent sources of fiber, as are veggies and some fruits. Try chia seeds, flax seeds, avocados, Asian pears, peas, figs, coconut, squash, turnips, beans, lentils and quinoa for fiber.
This may sound too simple, but a little water can go a long way in fighting sugar cravings. Your body interprets dehydration in many ways, including feeling hungry or craving sugar. Sip on some herbal tea, grab a cup of pure water or infuse your water with some lemon, lime, cucumber, grapefruit, or watermelon to spice things up.
Sour and probiotic-rich foods can knock out your sugar cravings. Kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and apple cider vinegar are all great additions to your diet. It’s easy to add sour foods to a salad, lean meat, or high-fiber grain. You can garnish a plate of rice or quinoa with kimchi or splash on some vinegar to give it some extra punch.
Fats are your friend
Many of us grew up thinking that fats were all bad, all the time. Recent science has found that this is not true at all. Your body burns fat for energy. When you don’t have healthy fats around to stoke a slow burn, you will crave sugar for a quick pick-me-up. By consuming healthy fats, you make your body more likely to become a fat burner instead of a sugar craver.
Which fat do we recommend most here at Change for the Health of It? Coconut and coconut oil are our favorites. Coconut oil provides healthy fats for you to burn. It’s also an excellent cooking oil. You can find more information on this healthy oil here.
Do you need help weaning yourself off of sugar? We are here for you! Attend our October 13th Class at 7 PM: Sugar Blues. You will learn more about how to get off of sugar and back to health. We look forward to seeing you there!