How To Beat Sugar Cravings
9 May 2018
How To Beat Sugar Cravings
- Why do we eat too much sugar?
- How does eating too much sugar in our diet affect our health?
- What are sugar cravings?
- Low GI Foods
- Chromium Foods
- Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
- Healthy Nutritious Alternatives
- Stay Hydrated
- Get Proper Sleep
- Chew Sugar Free Gum
- Identify your sugar craving triggers
Why do we eat too much sugar?
Most of us have a sweet tooth and love to eat sugary foods. This can be for many different pyschological reasons such as stress, feeling more energetic, boosts peoples mood etc. Not only children, many adults have a habit of eating more sugar than necessary. Many foods and beverages have sugar added to them, and if consumed too regularly can contribute to various health problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and heart disease. That is why it is important to know the signs of sugar cravings and how to fight them. Read More About Sugars In Diet NHS Choices Useful Information
How does eating too much sugar in our diet affect our health?
Sugar cravings can lead to serious long term health conditions if you eat too much sugar which includes:
• Weight Gain
• Type 2 Diabetes
• Poor Oral Health
• Mood Swings
• Heart Problems
• Poor Memory
• Skin Problems
• Getting Sick Frequently
• Low Energy
• Poor Liver Function
• High Blood Pressure
• High Cholesterol
What are sugar cravings?
Sugar cravings are the worst enemy for anyone! A moderate amount of refined sugar can be acceptable, but when you consume too much sugar, it can negatively affect every part of your body. Excess sugar intake is linked to many diseases. A sugar craving is when you feel the urge to eat excessive foods and drinks that contain high amounts of sugar. If you are addicted to sugar then it is best to beat the addiction and improve your health status.
Low GI Foods
Sugar cravings are often a sign that your blood sugar levels are unbalanced. To help maintain normal blood sugar levels, try to eat little and often – having smaller snacks throughout the day – and opt for low-GI (glycaemic) foods which will release energy slowly throughout the day and not result in energy peaks and crashes. Good low-GI foods include non-starchy vegetables, nuts, legumes and complex carbs such as oats and brown rice.
The mineral chromium helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and can therefore be beneficial in helping to control sugar cravings. If you find yourself experiencing regular, intense cravings for sweet treats, it could be a sign that you have low levels of chromium in your diet. To address this, increase your intake of foods rich in chromium, such as apples, broccoli, mushrooms, asparagus, whole grains and grape juice.
Avoid Artificial Sweeteners
Along with processed sugars, you must also try to avoid artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners do not lessen cravings for sugar, and they can actually contribute to weight gain. Try natural sweeteners such as honey, mixed berries, yoghurt, and cinnamon.
Healthy Nutritious Alternatives
Sugar cravings can be hard to resist at the best of times, but if you are surrounded by others who are indulging in sweet snacks or desserts it can be increasingly difficult not to give in. Rather than feeling deprived when others are snacking, try to choose some tasty, healthier swaps for your favourite sweet treat and snack on nutritious fruits to satisfy your sweet cravings. Make a colourful fruit salad, snack on whole grain crackers with pure fruit spread or try fruit compote with natural yoghurt.
If you exercise or do physical activity it will help keep your mind and body occupied and reduce your sugar cravings. Also going out, spending time with friends will help to keep your mind and body balanced, reducing your urge to need more sugar and hopefully encourage you to eat healthier and balanced meals.
Thirst is often confused with hunger or food cravings. So, when you feel a sudden urge for a specific food, try drinking a large glass of water and wait a few minutes. Drinking water is a great way to trick the brain into thinking you ate. Also, sugar cravings could be a sign that your body is dehydrated. So, sipping a little water throughout the day may be all that you need to keep your body hydrated and thereby curb the cravings. Furthermore, drinking adequate water has many health benefits. It regulates appetite, aids weight loss, improves skin quality and lots more.
Get Proper Sleep
Sleep deprivation can increase your desire for unhealthy, high-calorie foods, which are usually loaded with sugar. In fact, the desire for junk food is directly linked to the perceived severity of sleep deprivation. The more sleep-deprived you are, the more you will want junk food. Thus, getting good sleep is another effective way to prevent cravings for sugar and junk food.
Chew Sugar Free Gum
Grab some sugar-free gum and start chewing it from time to time to curb your cravings for sugary foods. Chewing gum a few hours after lunch will more likely significantly decrease your feelings of hunger and cravings for something sweet. Always chew sugar-free gum or peppermint-flavoured gum to deter cravings.
Hunger and a lack of key nutrients are two of the top reasons behind certain cravings, including sugar cravings. So, to prevent hunger, it’s important to eat proper meals at mealtimes. Eat something every 3 to 5 hours to help keep your blood sugar level stable and avoid irrational eating behaviour. So, eat on time and eat the right food providing the right nutrients including protein, fibre, carbohydrates, calcium, essential vitamins and minerals.
Identify your sugar craving triggers
To help beat sugar cravings and avoid giving into temptation, try to identify patterns to your cravings and avoid those things that trigger them. For example, if you crave sugar when you are stressed try to find a healthier way to deal with your emotions. If you can’t identify an obvious trigger, try keeping a journal identifying when you most feel tempted by sugar cravings and see if you can identify a pattern.