4 Foods that Help Reduce Sugar Cravings

Excluding addictions to alcohol and drugs, the next greatest addiction is sugar. Refined sugar is a very powerful stimulant, which is added to almost all the prepared food we eat. It has a drug-like effect on the body, so people can develop a dependency on it. This is why it is so hard for many people to reduce sugar cravings.

If you are a sweet-tooth, here are a few foods that can significantly reduce your cravings:

  1. Fermented vegetables (eg. sauerkraut,kimchee) help to balance the gut flora, as they naturally contain probiotics. Add a scoop to your salad greens to enhance the flavour.
  2. Coconut oil helps you to feel fuller for longer. This type of fat provides the body with energy, the brain with fuel and burns body fat at the same time. 
  3. Sweet potatoes are a great snack food or training food for recovery. Bake in the oven (skin on), top with coconut oil and a dash of cinnamon.
  4. Avocados also keep you feeling satisfied for longer. Add to smoothies for an energy boost or serve fresh as a snack with lemon & pepper.

Sugar Tax or Fix the Sugar Cravings?

Australian teenage boys now consume on average more than 38 tsp of sugar per day. Over half of the Australian population consumes more sugar than the daily recommendation of the World Health Organisation, which is less than 13 tsp of sugar per day.  Most of it is coming from sugary drinks and processed food.

Public health campaigners are calling for the introduction of a sugar tax, beginning with a 20% tax on soft drinks.

My question is … why don’t we fix the sugar cravings? This will create a snowball effect in reducing waistlines & body fat, while at the same time reducing the risk of diabetes.

Here are my 6 EASY STEPS TO STOP SUGAR CRAVINGS:

  1. Eat more protein throughout the day, combined with some low GI carbohydrates & good fats
  2. Reduce intake of processed refined carbohydrates, eg. cakes, biscuits, bread, pasta, rice, sweets, chocolate, soft drinks, artificial & natural sweeteners, alcohol 
  3. Choose nourishing & sustaining foods most of the time, eg. lean protein, fruit & vegetables, nuts & seeds, legumes & lentils/beans
  4. Cook with herbs & spices
  5. A sour taste can reduce cravings: half an hour before a meal, mix some lemon juice with chia seeds and glutamine powder. Drink.
  6. Nutritional supplements containing chromium and/or gymnema can help dampen and reduce cravings quickly.

Prevention is better than cure. Don’t let sugar cravings control your life and bite into your pocket if the sugar tax comes in!

 

Switch Off Your Sugar Cravings!

Apart from alcohol and drugs, the next biggest addiction in the Western World is “sugar”. Refined sugar is a very powerful stimulant, which has a drug-like effect on the body, so people can develop a dependency on it.

What are sugars? 

Sugars belong to one of the major nutrient groups, called carbohydrates. This food group includes: fruit, vegetables, grains (cereals, breads, pasta, rice, oats, wheat, corn, rye, millet, flour-based products), wine, spirits, chocolate, honey & other sweeteners … etc. When eaten, they break down into glucose or fructose. A sugar craving can include a craving for sweet carbs (eg. chocolate, sweet biscuits, desserts) or savoury carbs (eg. bread, crackers, potato chips, hot chips).

Simple & Complex Carbohydrates

Simple, refined carbs are digested & absorbed more quickly because of their lower fibre content. This provides a quick energy boost, but can leave the person feeling flat and fatigued after it wears off. Often this energy deficit pushes the person to look for another ‘hit’ of sugar to provide yet another energy boost to help them through the day.

Complex carbohydrates breakdown more slowly and provide longer lasting energy and help to stabilise blood sugar levels, leaving the person more satisfied for longer. Sugar cravings are a thing of the past.

Our bodies are equipped to handle excesses of sugar for a short time only. When we consume large quantities of simple, refined sugars, the pancreas & liver are stressed and we suffer a ‘stress response’. Adrenalin is released during this ‘fight or flight’ response, causing an increase in insulin production (a fat-storing hormone) and thus initiating the laying-down of body fat. This would have benefited our ancestors who lived through periods of food scarcity, but for us it is dangerous as we never suffer the food shortage and therefore get to burn off our fat stores.

Switch off your sugar cravings!

Try the following:

  1. Reduce stress levels significantly (by incorporating exercise, relaxation, yoga breathing, meditation, soothing music …)
  2. Replace refined sugars with good quality proteins throughout the day with 1-2 serves of complex carbs (eg. oats, low GI rice, lentils, wholegrain bread). 
  3. Eat smaller meals with 1-2 snacks per day, so that you maintain a top up of protein at every opportunity. This stabilises blood sugar levels and can substantially reduce cravings within 1 week.