If you’re like most humans, sugar is your kryptonite. If only it did a body good, right? But it doesn’t.
Did you know the average person in North America consumes 150 lbs of refined sugar per year! This is astronomical in contrast to the 5 lbs per year consumed by the average person at the turn of the 20th century.
We know that sugar has many detrimental effects on the body and before I give you 5 proven ways to bust your sugar cravings, it might be helpful to how they develop in the first place.
First and foremost, sugar ruins your blood sugar levels, which increases your risk for type 2 Diabetes. When you eat a refined carbohydrate like bread or paste, or a simple form of sugar like candy, chocolate, or added sugar your blood sugar levels rise.
Insulin (an important hormone) is then released to remove all that excess sugar out of the blood and stores it, usually as fat. Not good. That removal of sugar out of the blood results in a drastic drop in blood sugar in most people, which leaves you feeling like a zombie. And worse, it prompts you to get your next “fix” to bring your blood sugar back up. At a basic level, this is how sugar addiction begins.
Add to that the impact sugar has on the pleasure centers in your brain and you’ve got a cocktail that you crave almost unconsciously.
The manner in which sugar is processed exacerbates the problem. More than 60 chemicals are used in the processing of natural sugarcane’s thick beige stalks into the fine, white granular table sugar that we’re all to familiar with. Many of these chemicals, including bleaches and deodorizers, are still present in the final product and can exacerbate sugar’s nasty effects.
At same time, the naturally occurring minerals and vitamins in the sugarcane plant are completely removed. One such mineral is chromium. Chromium is a critical player in the body’s ability to uptake sugar from the blood and into the cells. The fact chromium is not present in refined sugar poses a problem for sugar uptake and metabolism, which imposes further stress on your body’s ability to utilize sugar properly. The absence of important minerals like chromium is one of the reasons why refined sugar causes a rapid spike and then crash in your blood sugar levels.
And it’s not just the refined table sugar that is the problem. In fact, the majority of our sugar intake comes from hidden and unexpected sources such as processed and packaged foods. Sugar is used as an additive in foods ranging from meat to ketchup and most packaged foods on the market. In packaged foods sugar can take the form of glucose, dextrose, sucrose, or the ever-present high-fructose corn syrup.
The major concern is that sugar provides no real nutritional value, while wreaking havoc on our blood sugar levels (promoting diabetes and weight gain) and leading to excess caloric consumption. It suppresses the immune system, disrupts normal mineral relationships, and compromises the health of your vital organs.
Now that you know why sugar is BAD for you, let’s look at 5 ways to get off the sugar bandwagon. After all, knowing is not enough. We must do. And when we’re dealing addictions and cravings that becomes increasingly challenging.
So if you’ve got a sweet tooth and constantly seeking your next fix, then other than limiting your consumption of sugar and refined carbs, the following strategies will make a profound difference on your health:
Swap out sugar for natural sweeteners that don’t impact your blood sugar.
Xylitol and stevia are two great options because they give you that sweet sensation with zero impact on your blood sugar. This means that you can still have your cake and eat it too without going through those dreaded up and down sugar roller coaster rides.
Start your day with protein
Starting your day with at least 20 grams of protein is one of the most helpful things you can do stabilize your blood sugar, stay full longer, and curb cravings. Just think of how you feel after eating a muffin (high carb, low protein) versus a plate of eggs and bacon or a protein smoothie. The latter is well known to keep you going for hours and reduce your cravings for sugar.
Consider supplementing with schizandra
This natural herb/berry helps restore normal blood sugar levels and can help reduce the need for sugar.
Consider supplementing with chromium
Chromium is a mineral that is often lacking in our foods (because everything is so refined). Supplementing with 200 mcg/day of chromium can be immensely powerful at restoring normal blood sugar levels and ensuring proper sugar metabolism.
Green up your diet
Adding more greens via vegetables juices and smoothies can help cleanse your blood and clear out some of the yeast (think candida) that thrives on sugar consumption. Clear out the yeast and your cravings for sugar naturally lessen well.
I give you permission to ethically steal these sugar craving busters. Put them into play today and you’ll see and feel noticeable improvements in a matter of days.