Have you ever wondered why it’s so challenging to turn down a slice of cake or a glazed donut? Do you sit at your desk, only to find that you’re daydreaming about chocolate? Does lunch not taste as good without a can of soda? If so, you’re not alone. We’re hooked and it’s causing a health epidemic.
Evidence now shows that sugar causes cravings and reward, similar to that of addictive drugs; reporting that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. It’s believed that this rush of pleasure and reward is based on receptors that evolved in our ancestors. Although their diet was low in sugar, we have not yet adapted to the overwhelming consumption we are exposed to today.
In fact, the USDA reported that the average American is consuming 150-170 pounds of refined sugars each year. You may think, I don’t eat that much. The truth is, refined sugars are everywhere. It is so accessible that it makes it challenging to recognize the severity of its effects. Sugar is added to tomato sauces, yogurt, salad dressing, canned fruit, ketchup, and thousands of other processed products.
There’s a lack of education and it is costing us our health. Like any addiction, significant changes need to occur. You can break free from the grips of sugar addiction and poor health. Here are nine tips to set you free from this dangerous substance.
- Take a probiotic. There are bacterial strains which feed on the sugar in our bodies, causing an imbalance in the gut. When you reduce this bacteria, you will help reduce sugar cravings and your body’s dependence on sugar.
- Include an L-glutamine supplement. Sugar cravings can be powerful, however, they can be reduced. L-glutamine is an amino acid that supports numerous functions, especially within the gut. When blood sugar levels drop, this amino acid can easily be converted into glucose. This helps to curve sugar cravings without exposing your body to harmful sugar.
- Drink a green juice or smoothie without sugar every morning. Swap your morning donut or white toast for a green smoothie. When you have a green smoothie each morning, you obtain antioxidants, phytonutrients, and live enzymes. The more greens you incorporate into your diet, the less you’ll crave sugar and the more you’ll crave the nutrients your body truly requires. By making a smoothie each morning, you will slowly change poor habits.
- Eat sour foods. When you crave sugar, eat foods that are sour and bitter. This helps to counteract sweet cravings. When making your green smoothies, include bitter ingredients like endive and kale. Lemon-infused water is also recommended daily.
- Eat fermented food. I cannot get enough of fermented foods. Not only are they sour, helping to curve cravings, but they also offer your body additional probiotic support. Foods like kefir, tempeh, sauerkraut, and kimchee, all help counteract the bacteria that thrives on sugar and contributes to sugar addictions.
- Use stevia. This low-carb, all-natural sweetener can be used as a sugar substitute. It provides sweetness, without spiking your blood sugar. If you feel like something sweet, have a warm glass of almond milk with a pinch of cinnamon and stevia.
7. Improve your sleep. A study found that daytime sleepiness may affect your control over high-calorie foods. If you do not get enough sleep, you will be more prone to reach for foods that support your sugar addiction. Lack of sleep is also believed to strengthen the brain’s reward center, making it much more challenging to stay away from sweets.
- Reduce stress. When we feel overwhelmed or stressed, we often comfort ourselves with foods that tend to be high in sugar. These foods actually worsen levels of stress and anxiety. A rapid boost of energy follows, affecting your blood sugar and hormone levels. Crush cravings by managing stress levels. Practice yoga, deep breathing, meditation, or whatever helps to personally calm and relax your mind.
- Increase protein. The initial rush of sugar is quickly followed by a crash, resulting in low energy levels and poor mood. This cycle of highs and lows puts your health at risk. Protein-rich foods, such as beans, nuts, eggs, quinoa, and pastured meat provide a more balanced and steady source of energy. You will feel more satisfied, reducing the effects of brain chemicals that cause you to seek out food, even when you’re not hungry.
Being more aware will allow you to beat your sugar addiction. Start eliminating processed and unhealthy high-carbohydrates, eating whole nutrient-rich foods. Impleme