Sugar craving has become a plague of modern times. It’s not shocking because of the forceful advertisement strategies and the assortment of sweet snacks that are accessible.
What’s worse, sugar is not only cakes and ice cream. Nearly all our meals involve something that has been made from bread, ketchup, salad dressing, soda, or baby food. No surprise that lots of people are dependent on sugar with the amount it is consumed in our diet.
It is relatively easy to reduce or eliminate the desire for sugar. In order to address this issue, it is necessary to consider the What, Why, and How of it.
What is Sugar?
People often vilify sugar as though it is something bad in food. However, “sugar” is a rather general description. All sugars are essentially carbohydrates. A variety of vitamin C can be pinpointed in various food items, such as various fruits, vegetables, and also in manufactured foods. There is not simply a single type of vitamin C.
It is not necessary to sidestep some sugars, such as those that naturally occur in good-for-you edibles, since they may have a beneficial impact on health. However, added sugars may be different.
Simple carbohydrates that have been obtained from plants and then purged of any undesirable components are referred to as “added sugars.” These “processed” carbohydrates are then incorporated into other edibles and beverages as a form of sugar. The procedure of taking out sugar from whole food eliminates vital nutrition and results in an ingredient that is full of carbohydrates which are taken up into your body at a fast rate. Naturally occurring sugars, such as honey and maple syrup, are present. One could argue that these things were taken out and handled by nature.
No matter if it is gained through natural means or through processing, added sugars give calories to your diet that take away from other nutrients, and too much of either of those can cause you to gain weight (when total calories exceed the number that the body needs), disrupt your blood sugar levels and add to further health problems.
How Many Grams of Sugar a Day Should You be Eating?
Reducing the number of extra sugars in your diet is an excellent way to decrease your calorie intake while still preserving your nutritional needs. This may also promote better regulation of energy, hunger, and emotions through improved blood glucose levels.
A 20 oz bottle of soda has 65g of sugar, which comes to the same amount as about 1 and 3/4 small shot glasses. A single portion of children’s cereal contains up to 20g of added sugar.
It is a major problem that sugar has been added to nearly all prepackaged foods, from bread to fat-free salads. Moreover, more than 50 different terms are used to describe added sugar on food labels. The typical American ingests between a quarter and a half of a pound of sugar each day. Almost all of the added sugar we consume comes from processed foods.
The best way to reduce sugar intake is to cook your own meals so that you can regulate what you put in. Examine the components list and try to identify any items that have sugar or syrup mentioned in the name or any items that end in “-ose”.
What is Sugar Craving?
Craving is a kind of addiction. It is a strong desire to have something that often seems like one cannot continue without it. Eventually, you may find yourself needing something sweet when you’re down, fatigued, anxious, or trying to focus on a task.
A strong desire for sugar that involves withdrawal symptoms similar to those experienced by someone dependent on drugs when avoiding the substance is referred to as a sugar craving.
Besides, some people have addictive natures. Therefore, they are much more prone to desiring items they deem necessary for their well-being, such as caffeine, sugar, alcohol, tobacco, narcotics, etc.
Why Do You Crave Sugar?
What is the specific reason why some individuals are able to have a limited amount of sugar or avoid it altogether, but others find it difficult to manage the consumption of sugar?
While a number of individual health and genetic differences may be at play here, there are a few common reasons why you might be craving more sweet stuff in general:
You are Not Eating Enough
If you are going on an extremely low-carb diet or not consuming enough food, it could be the cause of your elevated sugar consumption.
This is purely a survival mechanism at work. Not getting enough food could be an indicator that more nutrient-rich snacks are necessary to provide enough energy for daily activities. It is understandable that you desire sugar since it is one of the quickest ways to obtain glucose (energy) when calories are not plentiful.
Your Diet is Lacking in Good Nutrition
If your diet does not include the proper proportion of macronutrients or you have been eating too many unhealthy foods, your blood sugar level could be significantly disturbed. Bad glucose regulation can lead to a decrease in vigor, intensify your appetite and cravings (particularly for carbs), and disturb your state of mind. If you’ve ever been feeling irritable or frustrated due to being hungry, this is actually a sign of low blood sugar or not having enough carbohydrates in your diet.
Certain nutrient deficiencies may also contribute to cravings. After it’s all said and done, your body needs more than just calories to operate efficiently – it requires macronutrients and micronutrients as well. If your body isn’t taking in the necessary nutrients, then your brain may be telling you that it needs more food to make up for the lack.
Sugar is Addictive
When you consume sugar, it will trigger a release of hormones and endorphins that create a feeling of joy – largely in the form of dopamine. Furthermore, it won’t take a lot of time for your mind to connect consuming sugar with delight and gratification, causing you to have a longing for it.
Of course, emotions also play an active role. If you are feeling anxious, down, or distressed, this could spark an urge for comfort-related foods like sugar. However, these effects are only short-lived. Consuming large amounts of sugar can lead to a decrease in serotonin levels. Furthermore, a number of research studies have demonstrated a relationship between increased consumption of sugar and unhealthy moods and depression, suggesting that indulging in cravings could potentially worsen your mental state in the future.
Research indicates that due to the repercussions caused by it, sugar may be even more habit-forming than cocaine. Why do some people not withstand this more than others? Only a small portion (15%) of people in the United States regard themselves as “food addicts,” and there’s not much evidence nexus between sugar dependency and overweightness.
It has yet to be determined precisely how dopamine is involved in reward mechanisms, but most specialists concur that it is essential in the act of consuming food. To come to a more precise conclusion, further research needs to be conducted. In other words, some individuals might be susceptible to experiencing addictive-like effects from sugar, though multiple elements are involved.
Do you need to eliminate all sugar from your diet if you have a preference for sweet food?
For typical dependencies, the treatment typically involves completely ceasing the use of the substance or activity. It is not feasible for the majority of us to abstain from consuming sugar permanently. Can quitting sugar all at once (cold turkey) be successful in the short term? But if sugar is still an issue for you, how will you be able to manage your intake when you eventually have it again?
Taking into account that some sugars are present in food that is rich in nutrients, such as fruit, they can also cause similar impacts on the manufacturing of dopamine.
The dependence on sugar is caused in part by the way our bodies respond to it, and partly by our emotional connection to the substance. You may have the ability to manipulate one of these elements.
It is essential to understand how your connection to food affects your urges to consume sugar and what can be managed by you. It isn’t necessarily from a lack of willpower. If you are hooked on sugar, reducing or cutting out your sugar consumption can surely help, but it can’t fix the root problems.
Suppose you are struggling to manage your sugar intake effectively and feel like you are unable to control it on your own. In that case, it is important to understand that food addiction can be a real issue and to consider seeking professional assistance. It can have a damaging impact on your life, so it is worth getting the help you need.
How to Get Rid of Sugar Cravings?
To adequately deal with this issue, it is essential to comprehend how you attained an addiction to sugar. Gaining knowledge concerning the foods or choices in life that contribute to your dependency can help you address the issue.
If you are having difficulty in stopping yourself from consuming too much sugar, you may want to try and motivate yourself by understanding the negative impacts sugar has on your health. Discover ways to fulfill your sugar desires with more nutritious foods.
Why is Sugar So Bad for Your Health?
A little bit of sugar or any other food is perfectly fine. When sugar was scarce and expensive, it was impossible for people to have a sweet tooth since they couldn’t consume enough of it. Unfortunately, the process of producing food on a large scale has made sugar accessible and cheap, with it now being advertised as a practical source of energy.
8 Ways Sugar Damages Your Health:
- Sugar is very bad for your teeth.
- Sugar contributes to weight gain.
- Sugar can be a direct cause of many serious conditions, eg, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, etc.
- Sugar boosts the growth of cancer cells. This is why the first thing cancer patients are advised to do is give up sugar. Removing sugar from your diet is a natural way of “starving” cancer cells.
- Numerous studies suggest that sugar contributes to aggressive behavior in children.
- Sugar is as addictive as cocaine – the so-called “reward” centers of the brain react the same way when you take sugar or cocaine.
- Sugar depletes your mineral stores.
- Sugar suppresses your immune system for a couple of hours after consumption.
Main Challenges When Trying to Get Rid of Sugar Cravings
- Sugar improves the taste and flavor of the food it’s added to.
- We often associate sugar with nice memories or special occasions, eh Christmas, birthdays, romantic relationships, etc.
- We are often given sweets as special treats, both as children and adults.
- Sugary foods improve our mood because they trigger the release of serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone.
Is It Possible to Avoid Sugar Completely?
Giving up all sugar is hard since it’s included so often in foods from the usual Western diet. No need to steer clear of it if you only consume it every so often or in small amounts. If you can’t resist a sweet treat, there are better ways to satisfy that craving. You could try things like dried fruit, honey, and sugar-filled fruits instead.
However, if you do want to eliminate as much sugar from your diet as you can, follow these three simple steps:
Adopt a protein-rich diet.
Lots of individuals are attracted to sugar due to the fact that their food intake is inadequate in protein. If you consume an adequate amount of protein, you will experience a feeling of satiety for an extended period of time. You will be less tempted to indulge in sugary and unhealthy snacks.
Get enough sleep.
Research indicates that if insufficient sleep is obtained, the body begins to produce higher amounts of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for stimulating appetite. When you are feeling famished, it is more probable that you will overeat sugary foods or other unhealthy snacks.
Take your cravings seriously.
Dr. Colleen Huber, a Naturopathic Medical Doctor who performed the largest and most extended research study ever seen in medical history on the subject of sugar consumption by cancer patients, insists that we should pay attention to cravings. Dr. Huber postulates that cravings may signify only a minor deficiency in nutrition, something that is common even in advanced nations. She claimed that when we have cravings, it means our bodies are missing certain vitamins and minerals. It is encouraging that we can easily manage our cravings if we figure out what our body needs. If you want chocolate, what you actually require is magnesium, which can come by from unprocessed nuts and seeds, beans, and fruits. If you have a strong desire for starchy foods such as pasta, pizza, white bread, and pastries, then you need the amino acid tryptophan, which is necessary for the production of serotonin, the hormone responsible for good feelings. It’s possible that the source of your grumpiness could be related to not eating enough carbohydrates, resulting in a craving for high-carb foods, which might be a way for you to attempt to lift your own spirits.
Go for Quality, Not Quantity
You don’t need to give up sweets altogether. Nutrition specialists often promote indulging in a small quantity of sugar when experiencing an urge for something sweet. The important thing here is the quantity. If you’re craving something sugary, treat yourself to a delectable treat, but don’t indulge in too much. Enjoy every moment and appreciate each bite. If you consume a lot of desserts loaded with sugar, this will only set you up to desire them even more in the future.
The optimal choices to reduce your longing for sweets are unrefined versions of sugar or artificial sweeteners. These are easy to find. An illustration of this is that dark chocolate has less of a sweet taste than milk chocolate does. Make Greek yogurt more delicious by adding a touch of honey or a few pieces of fruit without increasing the added sugar. Bananas can be utilized as a natural sugar and incorporated into baked items and shakes. It is essential to change out your typical sodas and energy beverages with flavored sparkling water. We guarantee that your body will become accustomed to the alterations rapidly, and soon you will be relishing the disparity.