Out of all of the foods that people tend to crave, sugar cravings can be the most difficult to overcome. It's no wonder that people become hooked on sugar when it tastes so good, causes excitement in the brain, and even increases "feel good" hormones, like dopamine and serotonin. However, the consequences of consuming too much sugar are far too significant to ignore. Research shows that excess sugar consumption is linked to an increased risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression, weight gain, acne, rapid aging, fatty liver, cavities and cognitive decline.
1. Eat satisfying meals full of lean protein, healthy fat, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. By eating plenty of healthy food, you will reduce your risk of snacking and falling prey to sugary treats. When you want something sweet, opt for fruit or something sweetened with stevia.
2. Get more sleep and aim to manage your stress levels. Lack of adequate sleep increases the production of ghrelin, a hunger hormone that increases appetite and can make you more prone to overeating and overconsumption, especially of salty, fried and sugary foods. Leptin is also decreased with lack of sleep, which is the hormone that intends to control appetite and regulate weight and fat storage. Have you ever been extra hungry after a restless night? Your hunger hormones could be to blame. If you have a difficult time getting enough rest or sleeping soundly through the night, be sure to check out our article about herbs for stress and relaxation.
3. Take a high quality pro-biotic, because an imbalance of bacteria can contribute to uncontrollable sugar cravings. The bacterial organisms that live inside of your body can have a profound impact on your food cravings, especially when it comes to sugar. An overgrowth of a specific type of yeast, candida, can lead to severe sugar cravings, brain fog, eczema, bad breath, allergies, oral thrush and yeast infections. In order to combat this bacterial yeast that is usually at the root cause of sugar cravings, it is important to supplement with a beneficial bacterial yeast that will keep the growth of candida under control. Saccharomyces boulardii is the name of the species of yeast that combats candida, and in turn, reduces sugar cravings, and even promotes better intestinal and cognitive health. For extra help in this area of your health, take both saccharomyces boulardii and a full spectrum probiotic, like Garden of Life's Dr. Formulated probiotics. For more information about probiotics, check out our article, Probiotics 101.
Lastly, if you choose to indulge in a sweet treat, try to opt for something sweetened with only fruit sugar. Our no sugar added, vegan, gluten free cookies are sure to do the trick!