Sugar is very addicting! I can say this from personal experience, and of course from reading numerous researches. One research showed that sugar is more addicting than cocaine! That’s impressive information.It acts on the pleasure center of the brain, just like alcohol for example, hence the addicting effect.
Why do we talk so much about sugar?
Well, it is very bad for our health and it’s at the root cause of two of America’s worse health issues, obesity and diabetes. Other reasons why this topic is so important:
1. Sugar can suppress the immune system
2. Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in the body
3. Sugar is associated with premature aging
4. Sugar upsets hormonal balance including an increase of oestradiol in men
So as you can see there are some many reasons to motivate us to stop the sugar addiction. But do we need sugar at all? Sure we do! But not from the sources that we often choose.
We do need sugar. But it should not come from cake for example, and it doesn’t even have to come from fruits either, which are actually good for you. You can get all the sugar you need from complex carbs like vegetables and oats. And if that is not enough, our bodies can turn protein and fat into sugar. Remember that once digested, carbs also turn into glucose/sugar.
The Struggle is Real
What you can Do and Take to Fight the cravings
Quit cold turkey! Give up all the obvious sweets. Discover where “bad” sugar (I am not talking about the sugar in a carrot for example) exists in your diet and reduce your consumption as much as you can! Only keep the healthy sugars such as from fruit, vegetables etc. Also, use moderation for those healthy sugar options!
One tip is to start by cutting out sugary drinks like sodas, juices, and alcohol. This also includes tea and coffee if you drink it with milk, sugar or cream. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news…..
I had to train my palate to let go of sugar in my coffee, that was hard!. First, I switched to splenda..then I learned how bad Splenda was for me. So I started using stevia, and sure it took a while, but now I love my coffee with stevia. Sometimes I even drink it just black.
Chromium Picolinate 1,000 mg everyday- chromium is a necessary mineral and a great supplement used to help with appetite control and sugar cravings.
According to studies, chromium has the ability to increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin, helping it work better to control blood sugars.
*If you are going to take any supplements please consult a physician first. The supplements and doses shared in this post are based on my MDs recommendations and are specific to my body. Each person is different. Please take this seriously, especially if you are a diabetic!
Turmeric – such a delicious spice and helps fight sugar cravings. Turmeric is known to lower blood sugar and fight insulin resistance.
Glutamine – has long been recognized for its ability to curb sugar cravings. Along with glucose, it works as brain fuel. I take 500 mg 3x per day. Again check with your MD first. By the way I always took glutamine as part of my gym supplements.
Gymnema Sylvestre – is a traditional herb that is native to Central and Western India, Africa, and Australia. Its Hindi name, gurmar, means “destroyer of sugar.” It is known to have anti-diabetic properties and is also used in the fight against obesity. The leaves interfere with the ability to taste sweetness, which helps with the sugar cravings.
The active property of Gymnema is gymnemic acid, which has the ability to delay glucose absorption in the blood. Because the molecular structure of gymnemic acid is similar to that of glucose, it can help curb sugar cravings by filling in the receptor locations of sweet taste buds. ….sounds complicated but interesting right?
Vitamin C – sugar uses the vitamin C pathway so replacing sugar with vitamin C helps as well.
Magnesium, zinc, B-vitamins and manganese – these are also great vitamins and minerals that will help with stress and cravings.
Green juices – green juices really help me when I feel like having something sweet. I make my juices with mostly green leafs, some lemons (the only fruit) and lots of cucumber and ginger. I swear this quenches my thirst and cravings.
Alright, guys, these are all my tricks for dealing with sugar cravings. All I can say is that this is so worth doing. You will feel and look so much better.
P.S. There is a lot of studies referenced in this post, so I have a list below that you can check.
- Barclay et al. (2008). Glycemic index, glycemic load, and chronic disease risk–a meta-analysis of observational studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 87(3):627-637
- Bunner SP & McGinnis R. (1998) Chromium-induced hypoglycemia. Psychosomatics 39(3): 298-299.
- Creely et al. (2007) Lipopolysaccharide activates an innate immune system response in human adipose tissue in obesity and type 2 diabetes. Am J Phys. 292(3):740-747. Retrieved from: http://ajpendo.physiology.org/content/292/3/E740.short
- Berge, U. Behrens, J. & Rattan, S.I.S. (2007), Sugar-Induced Premature Aging and Altered Differentiation in Human Epidermal Keratinocytes. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1100: 524–529.
- Kaur, B. Henry, J. (2014). Micronutrient status in type 2 diabetes: a review. Adv Food Nutr. Res. 71:55-100
- Johnson, R. J., Nakagawa, T., & Sanchez-Lozada, L. G. (2013). Sugar. Uric Acid, and the Etiology of Diabetes and Obesity Diabetes, 62, 3307-15.