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7 Ways to Combat the Sugar Blues

By Jess Lewis-Peltier ecomii.com
September 8, 2011
File under: Healthy Eating

If you’re human, you love sugar. You get happy at the very thought of a sweet and feel elated when the scent of baked goods wafts through the air.

If you are the average American, you consume up to 100 pounds of sugar each year. As a matter of fact, according to the USDA, the United States is the largest consumer of sweeteners in the world and ranks as one of the top sugar producers.

Some form of sugar is in nearly every processed food and even just a little of it will make you crave more. Sugar is a highly addictive stimulant, which increases adrenal load and causes withdrawal symptoms like fatigue and irritability.

Sugar occurs naturally in foods like fruit, beans, vegetables and grains but the effects of sugar are offset by the way it gets broken down in our bodies.

The unrefined sugar in these whole foods is processed in the body in a way that allows it to be absorbed at a more constant rate.

Sugar that has been refined, like table sugar and the various forms found in processed foods, creates a huge spike in our blood glucose levels. This can lead to a host of issues like diabetes, candida, adrenal fatigue and poor pancreatic function.

The feel-good response we get when eating sugar is very real and so is the emotional response when we are asked to reduce it. When we eat refined sugar, the insulin spike is immediate and very high.

Insulin helps transport another chemical called tryptophan into the brain so it can create serotonin. Serotonin is the chemical that makes us feel good which is really the spike that creates the addiction to sugar, not the sugar itself.

1. Choose whole fruit over fruit juice. Foods high in fiber help regulate blood sugar so eating the whole fruit is far better for your health than fruit juice. Reserve fresh juices for fasts.

2. Reduce the amount of processed foods you eat. Most processed foods have more sugar in them than you think. Food doesn’t have to be sweet to contain sugar; it’s even in savory foods like crackers and dips. Steer clear of anything that has more than 4 to 5 grams of sugar per serving, especially if they contain little to no fiber.

3. Eat more whole foods. Whole foods contain sugar but they also have a great deal of fiber, nutrients and vitamins. Eating whole foods gives the body a chance to process and assimilate foods a lot more slowly, thus boosting nutrition. Not only will this increase health, it also reduces the craving for sugar.

4. Avoid other stimulants. A stimulant is a stimulant. Reducing the amount of stimulants in the diet helps reduce the overall craving for sugar. Avoid or greatly reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol.

5. Eat your greens. Sugar is very acid forming in the body, which also increases inflammation. Green leafy veggies alkalize the body, which in turn helps reduce inflammation and the craving for sugar.

6. Avoid or greatly reduce all sweeteners. The taste buds get used to sweet things so the body doesn’t really know the difference and continues to crave sugar or anything sweet. If you really want to make a difference in your diet, you have to train your body to accept things that are less sweet. You’ll notice that after a few days of reducing sugar, you won’t crave it as much as before.

7. Avoid meat products in the diet. Not only is it good for the animals and the environment, it will help reduce your need for excess sugar. Stick with healthy plant based proteins and you will notice a shift in your craving for sugar.

 

Jess Lewis-Peltier, ‘The Holistic Yogini’ is an expert in natural and alternative health, a holistic nutritionist, naturopath, biochemist and yoga teacher. Facebook Jess and follow her on Twitter.

 

 
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