Human beings are designed to be drawn to sweetness, for survival sake. It kept our ancestors away from the bitter poisonous berries, didn’t it?
The amount of sugar that humans are consuming has nothing to do with survival anymore. Sugar consumption in 1890 for the average person was 5 pounds per year. Today the average person consumes over 135 pounds of sugar a year! How does that happen?
Think about this, if you were to consume just eight 12 oz. cans of soda every week for a year, that would equal 52 pounds of sugar. Really? Yes, really.
Sugar is called the anti-nutrient for two reasons. First, it robs our bodies of vital minerals and B vitamins as it is metabolized. Secondly when we snack on sugar laden foods our sense of taste is heightened and foods that are naturally sweet and full of essential vitamins and minerals don’t taste quite as good to us. Food manufacturers know that if something is sweet we will eat more of it, pick up just about any prepackaged food item and read the ingredient label. You will most likely find one form of sugar, maybe two, three or even four different ingredients that are sugar.
Sugar is addictive, that’s a fact. Sugar is a socially accepted substance, one that is given to everyone without question of consequence. Just the other day I was out running errands and stopped at the bank where my children were offered a sucker, then to the post office where they were offered more candy, then at checkout at the grocery store more candy was offered. My children know the drill…we say “No, Thank you” to the bank teller, and “No, Thank you” at the post office and grocery store.
Sugar is every where, offered as a reward and a gesture of good will. How can we get out of the vicious addictive cycle of sugar? I offer 10 Tips to help you Blast your Sugar Cravings.
10 Tips to Blast Sugar Cravings
- Choose Whole Foods: The closer the food is to its original form the easier it is to avoid added refined sweeteners.
- Add Spices: Coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and cardamom will naturally sweeten your foods and they will also fight cravings and balance your blood sugar.
- Move your Body: Exercise, in whatever form you enjoy will help reduce tension, boost your energy and decrease your need for a sugar lift.
- Get enough Sleep: When you feel tired sugar is often used to help boost energy, but this is really only a temporary fix and will leave you feeling worse in the end.
- Explore the emotional ties you may have to sugar: Look for alternatives to meet emotional needs, especially when you feel like you need a reward.
- Learn to Read Labels: Learn to recognize ingredients that are sugar. The longer the list of ingredients the more likely the food will contain sugar.
- Choose to eat whole forms of sugar: Raw honey, dates, fruit, and pure maple syrup are great sweeteners for recipes because they are not void of nutrients. Moderation is always a good rule, you can have too much of a good thing.
- Drink Water: Sometimes food cravings can actually be a sign that we need to drink. Drinking will keep your body hydrated which will also help with fatigue.
- Eat foods that contain protein, fiber and healthy fats: these macro-nutrients help blood sugar levels be more evenly balanced and help you feel satisfied.
- Tell Someone: Tell your family and friends that you are avoiding sugar; if they know you are working toward a goal they can support you and help make it easier.