10 Steps To Help Take Control of Your Sugar Cravings
Sugar awareness is on the rise, but the road to taking control of sugar cravings is still bumpy at best. It’s in processed food, soda, cupcakes, candy, cereals, sweetened yogurts, canned vegetables, baby food, peanut butter and tomato sauce. Even “healthy” bars available in health food stores can be laden with sugar. To add to the confusion, there are many names of sugar: Brown sugar, confectioner’s sugar, corn syrup, dextrose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, lactose, table sugar, and maltose.
How does our body react to sugar? When refined sugar is digested, it goes into our liver and produces fat, the bad fat: triglycerides, which goes into our liver. The liver turns fatty and dysfunctional, and triglycerides are pushed into the blood stream. Blood pressure goes up, and we become increasingly insulin resistant. We know sugar is directly linked to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. It is now linked to cancer and Alzheimers and Dementia. In fact, since 2005, Alzheimers and Dementia is being called Type 3 Diabetes.
Taking control of your sugar cravings will impact your short and long term health. And yes, we can alter the impact of sugar on our bodies. The answer is not in sugar substitutes. Sugar substitutes actually increase your appetite causing you to eat more.
So, how can you take control of your cravings?
- Avoid processed foods. Become a label sleuth. Read nutrition labels and look for the many names of sugar.
- Drink more water. Flavor your water with lemon, lime, orange slices.
- Eat fruit, sparingly: Strawberry, watermelon, pineapple, peach, cherries, blueberries, cantaloupe, apple (low-glycemic is best!)
- Keep your mind and body busy. When these cravings set in, listen to music you love, go for a walk, work out.
- Purge your kitchen and work space. These are places you can control what foods are around you. Be honest with yourself while doing this.
- Be sure you’re eating enough protein to keep you from getting hungry.
- Include healthy fats. Yes, include avocado, nuts and seeds, use coconut oil.
- Eat more veggies for fiber.
- When eating, really chew your food. Slow down and notice the natural flavors of food.
- Reduce stress by quieting your mind. Meditating is a wonderful way be still and focus on your breath. Reducing stimulation allows you to be present which actually helps you to control cravings.