Donuts And Other Sweets Are Common Sources Of Added Sugar
If you usually have a hankering for something sweet after meals, find it hard to pass up dessert, or rely on sugar-filled coffee drinks for an afternoon pick-me-up, youre not alone. A study published in June 2017 in Appetite found that 86 percent of people who had food cravings thought about high-calorie foods specifically, those containing chocolate.
The good news: Reaching for healthy foods high in nutrients like protein and fiber can help stave off unhealthy hankerings.
Here are some of the foods that can help keep cravings for sugar at bay:
- Seeds, such as sesame and chia
- Pulses, such as beans, lentils, and chickpeas
Below, find a full list with the scientific reasons why they may be effective. Plus, learn more about what may be behind your sugar cravings in the first place.
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What Are You Craving
Lastly, dont ignore why you are craving something. Its a sign that our brain is starving and our biochemistry is out of balance. Overconsumption of carbs can lead to a brain that is not properly nourished.
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Randy and I want you to know that you are not alone in this battle, that there are people who want to stand beside you and encourage you on your decision.
Hydrate The Right Way
Green juices can be deceiving. Yes, they have fruits and veggies in them, but that green drink youre grabbing from Jamba Juice may be loaded with more fruit and sugar than actual greens!
Read those nutrition labels carefully. If youre consciously consuming the fruit for the benefits of the fruit itself, why not grab a whole apple or banana instead? Whole fruits provide nutrients as well as fiber, which helps slow the digestion of natural sugars.
When it comes to hydration, I suggest carrying around a 32-ounce water bottle. Fill it up twice per day and youve hit all, if not more or close to, your hydration needs.
If plain water doesnt excite you, make your own spa water by adding fresh mint and lemon slices.
If youre having a tough time fighting the soda habit, go for bubbles, just make them chemical and calorie-free. You can also try adding frozen or fresh fruit to plain club soda for a refreshing alternative.
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Cut Out Sugar In Foods That Arent Sweet
If you canât give up your ice cream and chocolate, try to eliminate ketchup and salsa. âSugar is in many condiments and sauces, and one must be careful not to assume that because itâs not a dessert or a sweet food it must not have sugar,â says Ilene Ruhoy, MD, PhD, a doctor trained in both pediatric and adult neurology and a gut council member for Jetson. âSugar is found in many kinds of ketchup, mustards, salsas, marinaras, and other sauces. It can also be found in some meals such as sushi rice and polenta.â
In fact, according to Dr. Drucker, manufacturers add sugar to 74 percent of packaged foods! âSugar is the most popular ingredient added to packaged foods a breakfast bar made with âreal fruit and whole grainsâ may contain 15 grams or more of added sugarsugar is literally hidden everywhere in our food supply. Adults, children, toddlers and even babies are unknowingly conditioned to desire sugar.â Making a habit of checking ingredient labels will open your eyes to just how much sugar is added to some of the most unexpected foods.
You Crave Salty Foods
Cravings for salty foods are one sign that your body is not getting the nutrition that it needs. This is surprisingly common among those who are addicted to sugary foods, as these people are often deficient in key nutrients, says Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and creator of the Candida Diet. If you find yourself regularly eating sugary snacks, youre probably not eating enough of the healthy proteins and fats that your body needs. Cravings for salty and savory foods are one way that your body might be telling you to take a break from the sugar and eat something more nutritious.
The inverse is true too, she adds. If you eat too much salty food, you might find yourself craving sugary foods or simple carbohydrates. The key is balanceeating foods that are rich in the micronutrients and macronutrients that your body needs to function and thrive.
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Why Detox From Sugar
While carbohydrates are an important part of the average persons diet, sugar isnt necessarily the healthiest way to get them. Sugar is known to set off a chain reaction that increases insulin levels and sets you up to crave more of it later, without providing the kind of satiety that foods high in protein, fat, and fiber do.
Sugar may also increase inflammation in the body, which can lead to health problems down the line . Eating a diet high in sugary foods can also promote pathogenic bacterial growth a serious no-no if you struggle with things like digestive issues, leaky gut, or urinary tract infections. Weaning yourself off of sugar can help limit your cravings for sweet things, stabilize insulin levels, and improve your overall health.
A Word Of Caution About Sugar Substitutes
You can choose to use sugar substitutes to ease sugar cravings. However, if you have a strong sugar addiction sometimes too many of these sugar substitutes can cause you to crave the real thing.
Everyone is different and learning your personal triggers is vital. I know that for me this is sometimes the case. This is not easy since I share my low carb/ keto recipes on this blog and many are substitutes for high carb treats that I may be missing.
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
The key for me has been in seeing even my low-carb desserts as an occasional treat. I also use sugar substitutes that will not cause an insulin spike. Whats more, I will make it a point to either freeze the leftovers or share them with others.
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How To Give Up Sugar In 11 Easy Steps
Know your enemy: Its important to know the amount of sugar in products you consume. If you knew this, youd probably eat or drink something else. If you see sugar intake as an addiction that is affecting your health, you need to reduce your daily intake until you quit.
Quitting cold turkey: If you treat sugar cravings as an addiction, its easier to stop consuming it. Quitting cold turkey is one way to stop. However, only follow this step if you know you can sustain it long-term.
Fruits contain sugars: Many people assume fruit is okay, because it contains natural sugar. However, that sugar is mostly fructose. It contains vitamins and fibre, but should be accompanied by nuts and seeds. Do not limit your sugar intake to fruits or eat fruits all the time. Look for fruits with higher water content, such as watermelon and oranges.
Remove all sugar from your environs: Remove all sugar products from your fridge, cupboard, car and workplace. Flavoured yoghurts, cordials, processed food and cookies also have to go. The temptation to eat sugary food reduces when you dont have junk in your fridge.
Stock up on health food: You need lean meat, fish, fresh produce, plain yoghurts, cinnamon and lots of green, leafy vegetables. Cook your meals with coconut oil or olive oil and avoid drowning your food in marinades and sauces.
Watch Your Intake Of Simple Carbs
Refined carbohydrates, like white bread and pasta, can spike your blood sugar and cause cravings, just like sugar. Two good rules of thumb: avoid foods that are highly processed and replace refined grains with their whole-grain counterparts.
For example, choose brown rice instead of white rice, and swap your white bread and pasta for the whole-wheat versions. Whole grains take longer to digest than refined grains, so they dont cause such severe blood sugar swings. While you may eventually choose to go completely grain free, if you want to transition slowly, whole grains can be a good start.
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The Pros And Cons Of Going Cold Turkey
A cold-turkey approach is the quickest way to quit the sugar habit, but it may not be the easiest. If youve built up a dependence, youll probably have some withdrawal symptoms, and that can make for a rough couple of weeks.Strong cravings are the most common symptom. You might also get headaches or feel fatigued and irritable.
The upside? Most peoples cravings subside within a few weeks. If you can ride out the withdrawals, quitting cold turkey is the fastest and most efficient way to get the sweet stuff out of your system.
The downside? Sticking to the plan is essential a single dessert can undo all your sugar-free progress, and youll have to start over from day one.
Quit Sugar & Break Up With Sugar Once And For All
But there is a difference between desiring a certain food and feeling as if you must have it. Like the craving has your undivided attention.
The problem is that If left unchecked our cravings can have a mind of their own and even lead to a form of food addiction.
When it comes to sweet foods, in particular, they have the potential to drive us to our knees. This is because the sugar that hides in high-carb foods can be very addicting.
Do you know that there are studies that show that sugar/carbs can be as addicting as heroin? This would explain why it was always so difficult for me to say no to anything sweet.
Its easy to look at someone who may be struggling with sugar addiction and make an assumption that its just a lack of willpower on their part.
Why cant they just say no to sugar? But trust me, I tried and failed many times using that type of approach.
When trying to break free from a sugar addiction you need to employ as many tools as possible to assist you. So are we talking about a lack of willpower, or is there something more sinister at work?
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How To Stop Sugar Cravings In 5 Simple Steps
Excess of anything is typically unhealthy and thats particularly true for sugar addiction. A sweet tooth is harmless until you begin to overindulge. Intake of more than the standard amount of sugar every day causes many negative effects and diabetes is the most common one. Besides heart diseases, dental issues, and cancer, sugar addiction can also damage your brain. If you have irresistible urges to consume sugary foods, thats a sure sign you need to learn how to stop sugar cravings. The more sugar you eat, the stronger your cravings will get. So here are a few tips to counter the sugar addiction cycle.
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Dangers Of Sugar Addiction
Pancreas: Your pancreas releases insulin when you eat sugar. If you consume excess sugar, your body wont respond properly to insulin, forcing it to produce more insulin than normal. The added pressure on your pancreas can lead to heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.
Kidneys: Your kidneys filter blood sugar to an extent. Excess sugar prevents the kidneys from functioning properly, as it slips into your urine. Once you develop diabetes, excess sugar intake can lead to kidney damage and prevent them from filtering blood sugar and waste from your body, subsequently leading to kidney failure.
Teeth: Added sugars like corn syrup, sucrose and high fructose are loaded with calories and empty calories. Sugar provides energy for bad bacteria to destroy your teeth.
Cancer: Cancer is a leading cause of death and is characterised by cell multiplication and uncontrolled growth. Insulin regulates this type of growth, making it crucial not to have elevated insulin levels. Consuming high amounts of sugar increases insulin levels and could consequently lead to cancer.
Sexual health: Sugar prevents men from getting an erection and can cause impotence. According to Dr Brunilda Nazario of WebMD, high sugar levels affect your circulatory system, which pushes blood to ensure you get an erection.
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Know What Sugar Is Called
There are SO many names that sugar falls under, says Eich. Common ones include brown sugar, corn syrup, dextrin, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, high-fructose corn syrup, galactose, glucose, honey, hydrogenated starch, invert sugar maltose, lactose, mannitol, maple syrup, molasses, polyols, raw sugar, sorghum, sucrose, sorbitol, turbinado sugar, and xylitol. The higher up these words are on the list, the more added sugar is in the product, notes the United States Department of Agriculture.
Sugar Craving Cause: You Chowed Down On Salty Foods
When you dine out or eat highly processed, packaged foods, your food has more sodium in it than you probably even realize. This usually remains true even when youre eating something healthy, such as grilled salmon and sautÃ©ed or steamed spinach, from your fave healthy restaurant. Heres the kicker: Oftentimes, the saltier your food, the bigger your sweet craving.
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Sugar Addiction And Binge Eating
A particularly worrisome aspect of sugar addiction is binge eating. Binge eating is eating too much and too rapidly followed by feelings of guilt, shame, and disgust. This can include a focus on sweets for the same mood-regulating and self-medicating effects of binge eating non-sugary foods. It is critical to remember that food, especially sugar, is a short-term fix for emotional conditions. If you or someone you love is struggling with depression and using food as a crutch, consider therapy or rehab.
Addiction Center is not affiliated with any insurance.
Dont Add Sugar To Foods
Many everyday recipesincluding those for vegetables, soups, casseroles, and saucescall for sugar to add sweetness. In most cases, its just not needed. So if youre making biscuits, for instance, you probably can skip the sugar. Substitute applesauce or pureed prunes or dates for half the sugar in recipes you can also use them in place of the recipes fat. Sometimes it doesnt work, in which case, looking for or developing a lower sugar version is the best bet, says Eich. Make your own barbecue sauce, which will cut out the extra sugar in the ketchup. Learn what eating sugar does to your skin.
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How To Break Your Sugar Addiction In Only 4 Days
Robyn Openshaw Updated: February 1, 2021 This Post May Contain Affiliate Links
On the GreenSmoothieGirl lecture tour of 450 U.S. cities, I was asked one question, over and over:
How do I break my sugar addiction?
And I suspect that far more of us want to ask this question, relative to the few brave enough to say it out loud.
Because we all have Shame about our food addictions. Wed all love to get off sugar.
Im going to talk about how the Shame Monster is your worst enemy, if youre addicted to sugar. Worse than the chemical addiction, maybe. And then Im going to tell you the somewhat triumphant, somewhat humiliating story of my Year of No Sugar.
In this post:
What To Do When You’re Craving Sugar
Sugar cravings can be tough, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
There are some simple, helpful tools that can help you when you’re craving sugar. These tools help by softening stress and replacing a felt sense of isolation and overwhelm with a feeling of support and empathy.
One of the most helpful ways we can support ourselves when we’re craving sugar is to reach out to another person – a friend, room mate, partner, sponsor, healer, or listening partner . As teacher and therapist Bonnie Badenoch reminds us, our brains are built for co-regulation: it’s much easier for the brain to soften stress with other person rather than trying to manage stress on our own.
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Be Aware Of Sugar Substitutes And Alternative Names
Cutting back on sugar is a challenge, and the first thing people cling to is sugar-free products. However, be aware of marketing ploys such as no sugar added, or sugar-free because they have artificial sweeteners in them. The best example of this is a sugar-free dessert. If you see this in a grocery store, chances are that the cupcake is not sugar-free, but rather made with a sugar substitute. The rule of thumb is to read all food labels and take extra care when you see foods labeled as sugar-free.
The Answer To Addiction Is Connection Not Sobriety
These relationships grow to replace the emotional attachment to sugar, and become your secure base. You’re not cutting out the sugar as much as you’re outgrowing it: replacing it with more nourishing sources of connection, comfort, and care.
As Johann Hari, the author of Chasing the Scream, says, “The answer to addiction is not sobriety, it’s connection.” Watch this video below, a TED talk by Johann Hari, to learn why connection is so important to healing addiction.
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