Health News – Sushma Shah, Naturopathic Doctor
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Satisfying The Sweet Tooth And Sugar Cravings

It is 3:00 pm, you are at work, still have a few hours to go before you head home, and suddenly you crave something to satisfy your sweet tooth. That chocolate bar sounds perfect right about now? Right? If you are like me, you probably crave a variety of things at various times through the day, so what can we do to satisfy that sweet tooth without feeling guilty about all the extra unhealthy calories?

Here are some tips to satisfy you sweet tooth:

  • The best source of sweetness can be found through a wholesome vegetable and fruit diet. This can be done by really chewing the food well and thoroughly to bring out the natural sweet flavors in the foods. Complex carbohydrates such as grains, legumes and vegetables become sweeter the longer they are chewed. The cravings for sweets will lessen over time through simple balanced meals and you also feel fuller faster.
  • Be cautious of “natural” sweeteners such as fructose, brown sugar, and turbinado sugar. They are usually almost just as refined and concentrated as white sugar and have similar effects as processed white sugar.
  • Balance your food intake. Salty foods such as pickles, sea salt, miso, and soy sauce direct energy into the lower portion of the body, which then creates sugar cravings, which has an ascending nature. Animal food products such as meats, cheese and fish are high in protein and should be used once in a while or in small amounts to avoid sugar cravings.
  • If you consume meat regularly by choice/preference, to balance the meals out eat salads, radishes, mushrooms, potatoes, wheat or barley grass products and fruit instead of sugar.
  • Instead of using refined sugars to sweeten desserts, use fruits, fruit juices, rice syrup, barley malt, stevia, unrefined sugar (unrefined cane juice powder), maple syrup, molasses and agave syrup.
  • Incorporate sweet vegetables such as beets, Jerusalem artichokes, carrots, winter squash, sweet potatoes, parsnips etc. for dessert or in desserts. Raw carrots are excellent at helping sugar cravings. Studies have shown that it affects the blood sugar rise faster and for a longer a time than refined sugars, but to a smaller degree. Baking fruits or vegetables tends to bring out the sweetness in them as well, making them taste even sweeter that they already are.
  • Use sprouts or sprouting products because sprouting changes starch to sugar (e.g. Ezekiel bread). Micro-algae products predigest some of their own starch into sugars and are an excellent source of easily digested protein for quick regulation of sugar metabolism. Some examples are spirulina, chlorella and wild blue-green, which are also excellent at reducing sugar cravings. A mid afternoon smoothie with a heaping spoon of spirulina, hemp nuts, chia seeds, a teaspoon of maple syrup, and avocado with rice or almond milk really helps to satisfy the sweet tooth and keep you full till about dinner time.
  • Consume pungent, sour or spicy foods to cut the sugar cravings – for example a piece of tamarind, a piece of mango with some sea salt and cayenne pepper, some salsa with garlicky bean chips, a ginger tea all help cut down sugar cravings.
  • Cravings can also be caused by hyper-acidity which is often a result from lack of exercise, eating too quickly or too much, and eating an excess amount of meats and refined foods. When cravings occur, consume raw or lightly cooked vegetables or a cup of matcha or bancha tea with lemon or alternatively do something that doesn’t involve eating such as exercise or deep breaths until the cravings subside.

Other tips and suggestions:

  • Cook meals at home to avoid sugars in restaurants and manufactured food.
  • Bring cooked meals with you when you go out to help avoid sugar from food establishments.
  • Read the labels on food products when purchasing them! Almost everything contains sugar and chemical sweeteners for example breads, cereals, salad dressings, soups, mixes, cured meat, canned food and bottled drinks.
  • Slowly reduce your sugar intake and remember to use discipline and self-reflection so it is a more smooth and comfortable transition especially during the sugar withdrawal which may be accompanied by tiredness, anxiety and depression. When suddenly cutting sugar out of the diet, it can result in the desire to binge.

 Benefits of cutting sugar out of your diet:

 Most people who cut sugar out of their diets experience being in better spirits, emotional stability, improvement in memory and speech, quality sleep and dreams, fewer cold and dental issues, more endurance and concentration and a better health overall, and better health and most importantly, better weight management!

 

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