Beat the Sugar Cravings
What kind of sugar addict are you? Take the quiz.
Refined sugar is one of the most addictive substances on earth – more so than cocaine. When you eat foods or drink things that contain sugar, dopamine is released into your brain, causing various degrees of euphoria. The more often you consume sugar, the more dopamine receptors start to down-regulate, so over time there will be fewer dopamine receptors. The next time you eat sugar, the effect is less intense and you will need to consume more sugar to achieve the same dopamine effect as before. The average American consumes 156 pounds of sugar a year, according to the US Department of Agriculture. Ouch!
Sugar to blame, not salt!
A new review of medical research suggests that a reduction in the consumption of added sugars and, in particular, processed foods, may translate into decreased rates of hypertension as well as decreased cardiometabolic disease. "It is a little bit frightening that we have been focusing on salt for so long," says Richard Krasuski, MD, from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. It's an “eye opener”, though he and other cardiologists have noticed that the recommendations to increasingly lower salt intake have not resulted in the expected positive cardiovascular outcomes.
If you crave sugar...
Knowing the reason for your addiction is step one to overcoming it. Is sugar your drug of choice because you are actually in a state of adrenal exhaustion? Your body could be reaching out to sugar as a cry for help.
Ask yourself: Are you irritable when hungry? Does your internal voice scream "Feed me now or I'll kill you!"? Is your work or home life a crisis to you? Always so much to do, so little time? Do you enjoy the rush of a good crisis? The immediacy and demanding nature of a deadline? Adrenal exhaustion is one of four types of sugar addiction - which one are you? Take the quiz here.
Other experts propose that the likely cause of addiction has been discovered, but it is not what you think. This article argues that the real reason behind addiction, whether it's sugar, chocolate, caffeine, overworking, nicotine, or drugs, could be a lack of human connection. If we had all the hugs and warmth and compassion we could ever want, perhaps we wouldn't need to reach out to sugar and other addictions to fill the void. Food for thought. What do you think?
5 Easy Tips to Reduce Sugar Cravings
- Eat 1 teaspoon of extra virgin coconut oil 3 times a day. You can do this by adding a bit of coconut oil to smoothies, to your stir-fries, or even to soups. Coconut oi helps greatly in reducing sugar cravings.
- Eat lots of sour foods, as they also naturally stop sugar cravings (at the same time they provide probiotics, which support the digestive system). And no, unfortunately Sour Patch Kids candy doesn’t count…
- Eat foods that are dense with zinc. Zinc is used to make insulin, which helps to control your sugar cravings.
- Eat more lean protein, as it can give you the energy your body is asking for when it craves sugar.
- Drink more water, because dehydration is often linked to food cravings.
Sugar Craving Emergency!
Even the best intentions sometimes get thwarted – that impending deadline, holiday stress, or yet another gloomy, rainy day. What to do if you're in the middle of a craving? Check out our sugar craving survival kit for that chocolate attack!
If you need a kick start to healthy habits, be sure to book a free consultation with our naturopaths or nutritionists. Root has a seasonal mind-body cleanse that you can do individually or as a group. Call us at 503-288-7668 for a free 360 degree wellness consultation to see what's best for you! Our next cleanse starts April 5th, 2015.