How many of you could stay on a healthy diet longer, if it weren’t for those uncontrollable cravings for sweets. Dr Anjali Mukherjee will help you to control those sugar cravings.
How many times have you resolved to `be good, healthy,’ watch what you eat, only to ruin the whole thing with some crazy binge? You could stay on a healthy diet longer, if it weren’t for those uncontrollable cravings for sweets.
About sweet tooth
Not many people are aware that white (refined) sugar is one of the worst foods as it creates mineral imbalances within the body. It borrows more B-vitamins from the body in order to get metabolized and gives nothing beneficial to the body in return as it contains no nutrients. White sugar is therefore called an “Anti-nutrient”. This means that if you have a sweet tooth, you have to consume additional B-complex as their store gets depleted.
Also, chromium, which helps to maintain the blood sugar balance in the body, gets severely depleted by consuming white sugar due to similar reasons. Hence, as the body gets deficient in chromium, there are major mood swings.
When our blood sugar level goes down, we experience a `low’, hence we go ahead and consume sugary snacks like chocolates, pastries, desserts, which make us instantly feel ‘good’. But this is only a temporary relief. It is not a permanent or regular solution for mood swings. When any food be it sugar or flour, is refined and taken out of its `whole’ environment of fibers, minerals, vitamins and enzymes, its `life force’ gets diminished and hence it becomes limited in its nutrient content.
Why do we crave for sugar?
Sugar cravings usually arise out of body imbalances. Such imbalances could be a result of eating very little food during the day. In such cases, it is but natural to have a sugar craving as it quickly satisfies the calorie needs of the body and also moves it away from the ‘low’ which a hungry, imbalanced body usually experiences.
Consuming very little protein could be another reason for sugar craving. Protein rich foods rich in protein like soyabeans, paneer, dal, tofu, almonds help to keep the blood sugar in balance and thus reduce sugar cravings. However, at the other end, when excess protein is consumed especially animal protein like chicken, meat, eggs, it again disturbs the body’s protein carbohydrate balance thus making the person crave for `something sweet’ at the end of a `meaty’ dinner.
When sugar cravings begin to rule your life, you end up with lifestyle and other problems like hypoglycemia, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, immune deficiency, bone loss, yeast infections, herpes, pre-menstrual syndrome, loss of memory, concentration, irritability, bouts of anger, mood swings, depression….the list is endless.
How to satisfy a sweet tooth?
- Sweeten desserts with jaggery, honey or dates.
- Eat sweet vegetables like raw carrots, which are sweet and juicy. They help to overcome a sugar craving if chewed slowly; only enough to bring out their natural flavour. Eating them hastily may not even allow one to `discover’ their sweetness.
- Eat fruits like papaya, grapes, apples, chickoos and chew them slowly.
- A strong craving can be busted by having dry fruits like anjeer, dates, black currants etc.
- Eat complex carbohydrates like brown rice, jowar or bajri rotis as these keep the blood sugar in balance and reduce cravings.
- Taking chromium supplements may help to reduce sugar cravings.
- Eat 4-5 small meals during the day rather than 2 large meals. This prevents overeating as well as sugar cravings.
Excess of any one flavour whether sweet, salty, bitter, sour tends to create imbalances within the body. Natural sugars like honey, dates, jaggery are rich in minerals and health promoting but when used in excess, even they upset the body’s protein / carbohydrate balance and bring about imbalances in blood sugar. So even the natural sources of sugar should be eaten in small quantities.
People who control sugar cravings experience higher energy, emotional stability, improved memory and better health in general.
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