The bane of my existence at one point. And how about you?
Many of the ladies that I have talked too as I go along, have often said that craving sugar is one of their main concerns when it came to living healthy. “I can’t stop eating sugar or I crave sweets all the time” is a common issue that I hear.
Most people get sugar cravings. But why? Do you ever find that your are motoring along feeling good with zero sugar cravings, then all of a sudden out of the blue a monster craving hits? The kind of cravings that you would sell the farm for? Those are something to contend with for sure.
There are so many reasons that we get sugar cravings and today I would love to talk to you about SOME of the reasons and what the heck sugar is doing to our body..
What sugar does to you:
Your body’s cells and brain need glucose which is the simplest form of carbohydrates. The thing is, sugar comes in many forms and different levels of quality. From table sugar, high fructose corn syrup to the natural sugars found in fruits it can be found in many types of food.
While we totally need glucose to fuel our cells, (our body can also produce it from stored glycogen in the liver), we do need to talk about the effects of low quality sugar and consuming TOO much sugar..
Not all sugars are the same.
You will find low quality and highly processed sugars in many foods such as: pastries, sweets, packaged + processed foods, condiments and generally all junk food. These sugars offer few nutrients, hardly any fibre and plenty of effects on the body.
What sugar can do to our body:
- Raise insulin levels and contribute to insulin resistance which eventually can lead to metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes
- Excess sugar (glucose) can easily be stored as fat and contribute to obesity and cancer
- Cause mood swings and energy fluctuations (mega energy crash!)
- Can create a sugar addiction and cravings for more sugar
- Processed sugar provides empty calories with little nutritional value
- Sugar is acid forming in the body and can contribute to inflammation and demineralization of the bones/teeth
- Contribute to yeast imbalance within the body
- Contributes to hypoglycemia and hormonal issues
- Excess sugar drains our adrenal glands (which we need for things like hormone production, stress management and regulation of blood pressure)
Why we crave it:
We are designed to love certain flavours such as fat, salty and sweet. That is how we survived way back when eons ago, but these days we are not cavemen(although some people make you wonder eh?) and we don’t require those strong cravings for survival, yet we are more surrounded by sugary foods than ever before. The cards are stacked against us it seems.
The food industry does their homework and knows that we are hardwired to crave these flavours and they design foods accordingly to hit our “bliss point”; just the right amount of sweet, salty and fat, that leaves us happy and wanting more- lord knows if something is overly salty we don’t want it, and if something is too sweet we don’t want it, that’s why the bliss point is so perfect, yet it leads to our demise!
They are also very good at layering food – salty with fat with sweet ex: Honey garlic buffalo wings with ranch dip (sweet, fat and salty mixed into one, and leaving you reaching for more).
Once you eat sugar, you are left wanting more. Sugar gives our brain an instant rush of serotonin, our “happy” hormone and lifts our moods. We often celebrate with sweets as well as reach for them when we require comfort. The surge in our blood sugar gradually wears off, our blood sugar and energy drops along with our mood and we are left hungry and craving another hit of that sweet sugar!
We do need sugar:
Like earlier mentioned, our cells in our body run on glucose, but the key here is to eat the healthiest forms of sugar and keep your sugar intake LOW. North Americans tend to eat far too much sugar these days, so choosing healthier options and natural sugars is key!
Sweet options coming your way
The good news is there are things we can do to curb/control our sugar cravings, decrease sugar in our diet and stay healthy.
In my next blog, I will fill you in on how you can not only beat your sugar cravings, but I’ll also give you some healthier sugar options and a recipe too.. woo hoo!
Stay tuned ?
Do you have sugar cravings like so many of us? Ever think about giving sugar the boot? Let me know!
As always I hope you enjoyed today’s blog. If so, please share it with your friends!
Till next time
Keepin it sweet… but healthy,