Thursday, June 4, 2020

BEATING SUGAR ADDICTION


If you crave sugary foods, you're not alone. Studies estimate that up to 90% of the adult population may experience food cravings. These cravings are often for sugary foods.

Scientists have  believed that cravings for carbohydrates and other sugary foods are driven by a desire to improve mood due to the fact that consuming sweet treats increases serotonin levels in your brain.

Serotonin, also known as a feel-good hormone, is a brain neurotransmitter that boosts your sense of well-being.


FACTORS INFLUENCING SUGAR CRAVINGS


Although serotonin may be the cause of your food cravings, there are a variety of other potential causes that can also play a factor:

Emotional stress: 
If you are experiencing stress at home, on the job, or in your relationships, you may seek comfort from food. Given sugar's effect on your feel-good hormones, sweet foods are a natural choice when you're feeling down.

Macronutrient imbalance: 
If you eat a diet that is low in protein, healthy fats, and fiber, you may experience blood sugar swings that impact your cravings. For example, if you eat a breakfast that’s high in sugar and low in fiber and protein (such as a donut or pastry), you’re likely to feel hungry again shortly after eating and your body craves sugar when it wants quick energy.

Lack of sleep:
 Scientific studies have determined that a lack of sleep is often followed by an increase in cravings for sweet, salty, and starchy foods.Researchers have also found that we tend to make poor food choices when we're tired.

Underconsumption of calories:
 If you are fasting or simply not consuming enough calories to meet your body's needs your sugar cravings are likely to increase. This is because your body is craving that quick energy.
High sugar intake: The more sugar you eat on a regular basis, the more sugar your body will crave. Research has shown a strong correlation between typical foods consumed and your preference for that food.

Frequent use of artificial sweeteners:
 Zero-calorie sweeteners can alter your sensitivity to sweet, causing you to crave increasing amounts of sugar. Depending on the brand that you use, your artificial sweetener may be anywhere from 200 to 20,000 times sweeter than natural sugar.

Micronutrient deficiency: 
Some nutrition experts have suggested that a magnesium deficiency may lead to increased sugar cravings. While there may be some truth to this relationship, the evidence is limited.


CRAVING VS ADDICTION


Cravings sound familiar,and you might be concerned only if you are addicted to sugar. Although not all scientists agree, researchers are careful to note that evidence does not prove that sugar is an addicting substance.

A true addiction requires that you have a strong compulsion to use a substance, you experience uncontrolled use of that substance, and that you experience physical withdrawal symptoms when you stop using 


HOW TO STOP SUGAR  CRAVING?

If you are someone who is trying to learn how to stop sugar cravings because you are overweight or have diabetes, the idea to eat more fruit may sound absurd. Surely you have heard somewhere along the line that fruit is a high-sugar, “fattening” food to limit. And yet the real world effects of fruit consumption have actually been shown to be inversely associated with BMI and body weight. In other words, people who eat more fruit weigh less.

1. Emphasize Nutrient-Dense Foods

Once you increase your intake of nutrient-dense fruit you should notice your sugar cravings decrease substantially within the first week. If the rest of your diet is otherwise healthy, your sugar cravings should be all but gone within two weeks.Eating a high-nutrient diet is essential for not only curbing appetite, but also quenching food cravings. Although adding fruit to your diet will definitely fill in a number of nutrient gaps, you may need to add additional nutrient-dense foods if you still find yourself craving sugar after two weeks.Take a look at our Clean Cuisine food pyramid to see how your own diet compares and consider adding more “bottom tier” foods if despite adding more fruit you find sugar cravings still persist.

 
2. Take a High Quality Multi-Vitamin / Multi-Mineral

Many different nutrients can affect sugar cravings. For example, magnesium is used in the regulation of glucose, insulin, and the neurotransmitter dopamine; a deficiency can result in some pretty serious sugar cravings, especially for chocolate. Zinc is another one needed for your body to properly utilize insulin and glucose and a deficiency can also contribute to sugar cravings. Although eating whole foods is undoubtedly the very best way to get your vitamins and minerals, taking a high quality multi-vitamin / multi-mineral supplement can be a good way to fill nutrient gaps.

 
3. Take a Phytonutrient “Booster”

A “phytonutrient booster” is basically just whole food based fruit and vegetable powdered supplement. Many phytonutrient supplements exist, such as Barlean’s Greens, Green Vibrance and Amazing Grass Green Superfood .

 
4. Supplement with L-Glutamine

L-glutamineL-Glutamine is an amino acid that has been shown to be incredibly effective at combating sugar cravings by helping to stabilize blood sugar. Although it doesn’t work for everyone, you’ll know almost immediately whether it works for you. Adding 500 milligrams of L-glutamine three times a day on an empty stomach can stop sugar cravings almost instantly for some people.

Although amino acid therapy has been shown to be very safe, I personally do not think it is a good idea to take any isolated amino acid supplement for an extended period of time. I would use amino acid therapy as a short-term solution–maybe for 2 or 3 weeks– while you make additional adjustments to the rest of your diet. Ultimately, you should not need to rely on L-glutamine to curb sugar cravings. If you want to give L-glutamine a try though, Nutricost is a good brand.


HEALTHY BODY + HEALTHY MIND = HAPPY LIFE

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