Sugar cravings…one of the worst there are! I used to be a sweet tooth but with diet I have almost fully eradicated my sweet cravings. After you get over the body cravings then you just have to tackle the emotional bond, it's true, we have a strong emotional bond to sugar. We eat it when we're sad, we eat it for celebrations and we use it for rewards. Later on I'll mention some of the deficiencies that are common with sugar cravings, you'll also find an array of foods you can eat to help in the process of removing sugar from the diet.
A really important factor: making sure you are getting all your vitamins and minerals as well as consuming healthy fats for satiation. One of the most helpful things I have included in my diet is BONE BROTH. I talk about it all the time but for real, this stuff will help you out beyond your wildest dreams.
I cannot stress it enough!
There are a hundred reasons to give up refined sugar, and if you're curious, I eat things with sugar in them maybe 3-4 times a month. This is usually in the form of a dark chocolate bar which only has about 5 grams of sugar for half the bar. (Johnny eats the other half) My favorite bar, is called Brown Butter, which actually contains grass fed butter. The inclusion of healthy fats helps slow the absorption of sugar into the blood stream, so if you are consuming sugar, even in the form of fruit, it's ideal to eat it along side a healthy fat source. If you need some more reasons to kick your sugar habit, here they are:
Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, lung, gallbladder and stomach.
Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose and can cause reactive hypoglycemia.
Sugar can cause many problems with the gastrointestinal tract, including an acidic digestive tract, indigestion, malabsorption in patients with functional bowel disease, increased risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Sugar can interfere with your absorption of protein.
Sugar can cause food allergies.
Sugar contributes to obesity.
People always want to know: what can I replace sugar with! Well, if you really must, I'd recommend small amounts of honey or maple syrup because these contain added minerals and cofactors, they aren't pure sugar like refined sugar is. Sugar cane in nature is a packed full of minerals. In nature, anything with a high sugar content has a high mineral content. So when consuming sugar that is stripped from its cofactors/minerals it will try and find these minerals in your body and in your bones and start stealing them from you.
Sugar literally takes minerals out of your body!!! This doesn't mean you can't over do it on the natural sweeteners, they are still simple carbohydrates that can have negative effects on your body. Historically people would find honey every once in a while, it wasn't an everyday thing.
The average American consumes 140+ pounds of sugar a year!
That's at least a quarter of a pound of sugar a day! It's utter madness.
Lets go a little deeper:
Sugar naturally occurs in a lot of foods, the difference between this and added sugar is a lot!
In fruits and veggies, for example, it's mixed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and beneficial phytonutrients which moderate the stress it causes to the metabolism.
There are also two different kinds of sugar I wanted to talk about: glucose and fructose.
Glucose and Fructose are metabolized differently.
Glucose is usually immediately used by the body for energy. 20% of it is metabolized by the liver and some of it is stored for later use. It can also curb hunger so you don't overeat.
Fructose is not readily used for energy like glucose, instead it can be turned into free fatty acids (or the bad form of Cholesterol LDL), or triglycerides which are stored as fat. Fructose metabolism also produces a long list of waste products and toxins that your body has to deal with. Compared to glucose, fructose is 100% metabolized by your liver so high consumption of this can be damaging to it. In this day and age High Fructose Corn Syrup is used as a sweetener in not only "sweet" packaged food, but also things like tomato sauce. You really have to read your labels. This has literally been the death of us.
This is also why you can't just eat as much natural sugar and fruit as you want, they all contain Fructose.
Here is the super interesting part. High levels of sugar in the blood start binding to proteins in the blood creating "sticky" proteins. These proteins, known as Associated Glycation End Products, are damaged from sugar and begin causing mayhem in the body. A few of the possible effects: Clogged/hardened arteries (actually Cholesterol comes to the rescue when this happens, yes, Cholesterol is good!), blocked cell communication, joint hardening (arthritis), organ hardening…etc etc.
Do I need to say more? I think I will.
Now, the body is set up to deal with sugar in a certain way. The three major organs involved in this process are the Pancreas, Liver and Adrenals. Historically we had more of a need to raise blood sugar because we may have not had food all the time. Nowadays we have the need to lower blood sugar more than raise it. Unfortunately our bodies weren't set up for this, so while the body has many different ways it can raise blood sugar, it only has one way to lower it. Hence the epidemic of diabetes and blood sugar dysregulation. Because there is only one way to lower it the organs in blood sugar regulation are over used.
I won't get too scientific here, this is probably enough for you to see that there is a REAL problem.
So what can be done?
Well, I mentioned at the beginning that getting been well nourished is sure to curb your cravings. A few of the common deficiencies when it comes to sugar cravings:
Chromium: An essential nutrient for blood sugar regulation, an essential component of Glucose Tolerance Factor, which helps insulin bind to the appropriate receptor on the cell surface Functions in fat, protein and carbohydrate metabolism
Found in: Broccoli, grapes, cheese, dried beans, calves liver, chicken
Chicken, beef, liver, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes, grains
Cranberries, horseradish, cruciferous vegetables, kale, cabbage
Cheese, liver, lamb, raisins, sweet potato, spinach
And like I said, there are TONS of minerals in Bone Broth.
Besides these foods it's good to get healthy fats in the form of animal products like Lard and Butter, Coconut Oil, Avocado, Fish Oil, Etc.
I HIGHLY recommend a overhaul when it comes to sugar in the diet. It's one of the most damaging substances and it's highly addictive. It's not enough to just give up refined sugar and replace it with the same amount of naturally occurring sugars. You must lower the amount of sugar you are consuming in general. Most of your carbs should come from things like Vegetables, Legumes, Brown Rice, Whole Grains.
(all of these properly prepared, some need to be soaked overnight)
Keep you fruit and natural sweeteners to a minimum and don't eat a ton in one sitting. It puts more of a load on your body when you consume a lot of carbs/sugar at once. Try and space out your fruit consumption throughout the day.
If you think you may be suffering from blood sugar dysregulation or just want help eradication sugar from your diet,
feel free to email me! firstname.lastname@example.org
More on this subject can be found here:
Bailey Patrice & Jonathan David