Do you ever feel intense sugar cravings in the middle of the afternoon or in the evening after dinner? Have you ever felt an uncontrollable urge to grab a chocolate bar or a bowl f icecream ? If your answer is YES, then you are not alone.
Today, the average American consumes 150 pounds of sugar a year. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture that is about 52 teaspoonfuls of added sugar per person per day. Can you imagine gobbling down 52 teaspoons of sugar every single day? Believe it or not most people are doing exactly that.
Sugar not only causes a spike in the blood sugar levels but also hinders the body’s immune system and predisposes people to allergies and infections. The number, shape and activity of white blood cells are adversely affected by excessive sugar consumption.
Listed below are just some of the health conditions associated with over consumption of sugar.
- Sugar upsets the mineral relationships in the body
- Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children
- Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides
- Sugar contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases)
- Sugar reduces high density lipoproteins (or HDL- the good cholesterol)
- Sugar leads to cancer of the ovaries
- Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose
- Sugar interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium
- Sugar can weaken eyesight
- Sugar can cause gallstones
- Sugar can cause heart disease
- Sugar can cause appendicitis
- Sugar can cause multiple sclerosis
- Sugar can cause hemorrhoids
- Sugar can cause varicose veins
- Sugar can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease
The above list is just a snapshot, there are over 146 medical conditions attributed with sugar consumption.
Many people struggling with serious health conditions and weight loss make an attempt to reduce sugar in their diets. They think by not adding sugar to their coffee they are doing all the right things but they may be consuming sugar unknowingly. This is why it is essential to become aware of the hidden sources of sugar in our foods. Sugar comes in many different forms like barley malt, brown sugar, cane juice crystals, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, turbinado sugar, xylitol, etc. to name a few. It is therefore important to read the ingredient list before you buy any pre processed food for hidden sources of sugar. Apart from being careful about hidden sources here are few ways that might help you avoid sugar cravings.
Get rid of anything sugary in your house:
For most of us this is the best way – eliminate all the sugary foods around. That way you won’t be able to eat what isn’t available when the cravings occur.
Drink More Water:
If you are a sugar addict, it’s possible you do not drink enough water. Drink at least 3 glasses of water each day with no sweeteners. Just plain delicious water!
Eat More Water:
The more veggies you eat, the less likely you will be tempted to go to sugary foods. It will also occupy you long enough to hopefully get through the sugar craving.
Get enough rest:
Sugar affects your blood sugar levels, which affect your energy levels. If you aren’t sleeping enough then you might be tired and craving sugar that will give you a quick energy boost. Get enough sleep in order to stop cravings caused by lack of sleep.
Identify and avoid triggers:
Figuring out what triggers sugar cravings can help you avoid them. When you find out whether lack of sleep, boredom, depression, habit, stress, etc. is causing your cravings you can then fix the triggers so that you can stop the cravings.
This is not going to be easy, especially if you are like me and have a sweet tooth. Start slow and be determined to avoid all sugar for at least a week, and then give yourself a free day. I am sure this way you will stick longer on your plan. Operation SugarLess could be a challenge. But I am sure you can do this.