Are you one of the hundreds of thousands of people on our globe who are addicted to sugar? It’s past time to figure out how to put an end to sugar cravings once and for all.
The fact is that, regardless of what companies tout about their sugar-containing meals, sugary foods are poor suppliers of nutrition. For example, agave and maple syrup are both high in sugar, despite the fact that their manufacturers say that they also contain tiny amounts of vitamins and minerals in trace proportions.
You are well aware that drinking or eating sugar-containing items that are marketed as healthy will not provide you with the zinc, iron, and other nutrients that you require on a regular basis. If you are concerned about your health, you will strive to minimize your sugar intake to the greatest extent possible.
Fortunately for you, it isn’t quite as complicated as you would assume. It all comes down to a shift of perspective.
Your body does not need sugar; it will best obtain all its needed energy from a whole foods diet with a balance of protein, fats and complex carbohydrates. Sugar itself provides no nutrient value and usually delivers glucose and fructose in amounts that the body cannot immediately utilize, meaning it is usually converted to body fat.
If you need more reasons to reduce your sugar intake, here are just a handful.
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Sugary Foods are Addictive
Sugar is identified as an addictive substance by many experts because it activates the food reward centers in a person’s brain which turns on the vicious cycle of cravings and dependence. Even if the addictive effects of sugar are milder than morphine or cocaine, high sugar consumption can turn into a real addiction. Persistent high intake will increase the risk of diabetes, weight gain and PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome).
Sugar Consumption Can Lead to Reduced Immunity
Studies have shown that sugar consumption can lower the body’s defenses. Once a person’s blood sugar level reaches 120 mg/dl, the ability of their white blood cells to destroy viruses and other disease-causing microorganisms can reduce by up to 75%.
The goal of maintaining a blood sugar level of 120 mg/dl can be readily reached by eating a few cookies or sipping on a glass of bottled fruit juice. Your immune system is weakened within ten minutes of taking sugar, and your body’s ability to fight bacteria and viruses can be compromised for up to five hours after ingesting the sugar.
If you consume sugary meals numerous times a day, your defenses will be much more weakened and will likely last considerably longer.
Blood Glucose Levels and Mood
Your blood sugar and insulin levels will rapidly rise and fall if you consume sugar or simple carbohydrates. Indulging in sugar on a frequent basis raises your chances of developing insulin resistance, obesity, the metabolic syndrome, and diabetes. Leaving that aside, the effects of sugar on the body can be noticed within minutes of consumption, and this is referred to as a sugar spike and a sugar crash, depending on the amount consumed.
This is the time of day when your energy levels and emotions can fluctuate, much like riding a roller coaster. As a result, you will become irritable and will have a strong desire for more sugary foods in general. Fatigue and difficulties concentrating are common side effects of excessive sugar consumption.
Overcoming a Sugar Dependency
Sugar and other foods that “act like sugar” in the body can cause these symptoms and effects, which can be avoided and corrected by avoiding them. If you are accustomed to ingesting high amounts of sugar, you will almost probably experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop eating sugar. It is possible that you will have headaches and irritation for a few days while your body detoxifies.
The upside, on the other hand, is significant, and once you have passed that stage, you will notice that your mood and energy levels have become more consistent and stable, without the unpleasant sugar crash.
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How to Stop Sugar Cravings
It’s possible that you’re addicted to sweets without even recognizing it. Sweet foods have become a source of consolation for many people. Some people believe that they have a hereditary predisposition to seek sweets because of their family history. The bottom line is that sugary foods are tremendously damaging to one’s physical and mental wellbeing.
Giving up Sugar May be Difficult
There is absolutely no doubt that reducing or eliminating sugar from your diet will be beneficial to your health. Sugar is devoid of nutrients and, as a result, is detrimental to your health. The only benefits that can be seen are those related to taste and gratifying a compulsive drive.
However, if your body has become accustomed to a high sugar diet, you should expect to go through a period of withdrawal, with symptoms that can be both uncomfortable and irritating to experience. Between a few of days and two weeks, this phase can be expected. Headaches, irritability, and mood changes are all possible side effects.
The end result will be worthwhile for your own health’s sake, but it will take time and work, particularly in the beginning. If you are serious about getting rid of your sugar addiction, the following tips will be quite helpful.
Look for a Substitute
You may want to try some natural, herbal teas to satisfy your cravings. Unsweetened beverages are a great option to fill you up and rehydrate. Some satisfying choices include green tea, blueberry tea or peppermint tea. Dried fruits, almonds, raisins or some trail mix can be another healthy snack option.
Consume dried fruits in moderation, however, as they can contain significant amounts of sugar by weight and volume when compared to their naturally hydrated counterpart. However, with practice, you will soon be able to make better decisions when your sweet tooth strikes.
Make Sweets Less Accessible
Don’t sabotage yourself. Stopping your sugar cravings will be difficult if your cupboards, fridge and counters are laden with high sugar snacks, candies or chocolates. If you are at work, ensure that sweet treats can no longer be found near your work station. Keep some sugar free protein bars and snacks at your desk and in your car for a quick fix. Get the sweet flavor without the sugar and the associated calories.
When you go shopping, avoid going down the junk food aisles. Read the labels on “health food bars”, these are often sugar bombs in disguise. Instead, keep your kitchen filled with fresh fruits and other healthy snacks which you can easily grab whenever you are craving something sweet.
Brush Your Teeth Right Away
Develop the habit of brushing your teeth as soon as possible after you finish your meals. Following a meal, some people are compelled to consume something sweet because they do not enjoy the sour taste that remains in their tongues after the meal has been consumed. If, on the other hand, you make a conscious effort to brush your teeth immediately after eating, the minty flavor of the toothpaste will assist to suppress the desire to ingest anything sweet.
Wait for Ten Minutes
It is recommended by nutritionists that sugar cravings should only last up to ten minutes at the most. The next time you have the temptation to hunt for something sweet, wait 10 minutes and let the craving to diminish before you go shopping. This habit will make it simpler for you to develop self-discipline and to exert greater control over your sweet desires as you get older. While you’re waiting, do something practical or creative to keep your mind from being preoccupied with your hunger.
If you require further motivation to help you overcome your sugar addiction, the following are some compelling arguments in support of quitting sugar:
Sugar is not healthy in any way
Aside from having no nutritional worth, it is something that will only deprive you of the nutrients that your mind and body require in order to function properly. Even more concerning, when sugar is metabolized within the body, it depletes calcium and other mineral supplies while simultaneously decreasing the beneficial gut flora.
Sugar makes you anxious
Eating more foods that contain sugar can make you more vulnerable to the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Consuming these sugary foods will increase your insulin production and the sugar/slump cycle can elevate adrenalin levels. This includes eating even healthy carbs. Check out what happens in your body here when you consume carbs.
Sugar destroys your pancreas
Sugar, according to research, has been shown to impair the ability of your pancreas to operate properly. When this occurs, you may find yourself becoming more susceptible to renal problems, diabetes, and heart difficulties, among other things.
Sugar ruins your teeth
The more sugary foods you consume, the greater the amount of bacteria that accumulates in your mouth, which can eventually lead to enamel erosion and tooth decay.
Although sweet foods are frequently used as rewards, it is important to remember that they will never be rewarding to your health. Sugar cravings must be eliminated if you wish to live a longer and healthier life. After all, the prospect of having a limb amputated as a result of diabetic complications is not too appealing, is it?
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