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Sugar cravings and Tips to control them

A craving can be defined as an intense drive or urge to eat something of a specific type and one of the main type of food craving is for sugary foods. Scientifically our bodies are not designed to take such a high dose of sugar overload, and thereby contributes to many modern illnesses, including diabetes, heart diseases and cancers.

How do we identify sugar cravings?

In order to identify any sort of craving, it is important to know the reactions or signs that tells you that you are bend to a particular thing. Here are some signs that might indicate that you are addicted to sugar:
  •        You eat sugary foods even when you don’t want to. It is an intense feeling that you know that you don’t want but still you go for it. You’re salivating but you know it’s not a good idea to eat it.
  •         You eat sugar foods past the point you ever intended. It is a common occurrence that you intend to eat only one piece of something sugary, but once you finish the first one you think, you want more as the first wasn’t enough. It so happens that you end up finishing many pieces but still want more.
    What is a sugar cravings and how to curb them. Diabetes

  •         Your body and mind crave for simple carbohydrates. A way your addiction manifest itself by craving for simple carbohydrates. It so happens that these carbs turns into sugar – the actual stuff that your body wants. White bread, pastas and pastries are some simple carbohydrates that sugar addicts crave for.
  •         Crave for meat or salty foods. According to experts – a healthy body will always look for balance. Feeding the body with too much expanding foods always create cravings for contracting foods. Like – if you eat too much salty or meat foods, the body will crave for sugar foods to balance it. It simply means that if you can regulate your salt intake to a minimum, you for sure will have lesser urge for sugary foods.
  •         You keep on eating sugary foods until you don’t feel well. If you eat too much of sugary foods you will feel bloated, fuzzy thinking, fatigue, or sleepiness. These are symptoms of sugar hangovers.

Why do we have sugar cravings?

Sugar is highly addictive. The dramatic falls in blood sugar, which happens after eating “bad” carbohydrates such as sweets and biscuits, affect the part of the brain that controls impulse. This leads to a loss of self-control and a subsequent craving for more unhealthy, high-calorie foods.

The reasons why we have sugar cravings are:
  •         You didn’t eat the right things or you just didn’t eat enough.

When you do not eat enough calories, the body needs fuel fast as a way to catch up, thus crave for sugar, as it gives a quick boost of energy even though not healthy. Well! It might seem to be ok for a quick fix, but constantly doing so can make the body habitual looking for more energy in the form of sugar. 

  •         You might have been hooked to a bad habit.

Eating sugary food or even a piece of chocolate is just another bad habit just like picking nails. When something becomes a habit and particularly with food, in most of the cases you don’t even realise it.

  •        You didn’t eat enough of proteins and fats and ate too much of starch or carbs.

When we pick to eat a meal with too much of starch like a big bowl of spaghetti, you are there for a heavy craving of sugar. The big portion is of no protein and fats and the calories in it are absorbed fast and they do not keep you feeling full or satisfied. Also, such foods doesn’t provides you the feeling of fullness as in the case of proteins and fats.

  •         You might have eaten salty foods.

The ones like processed foods are high in sodium. The rule goes this way: the saltier your food, the bigger is your sweet craving. When you eat naturally salty foods like cheeses and olives you have cravings for naturally sweetened foods like herbal teas and fruits.

Curbing sugar cravings with diabetes
Once a person has been diagnosed with diabetes, they undergo a dramatic diet change. In order to maintain a healthy insulin level, they have to sacrifice many of their favorite foods and the most difficult of them is giving up sweets and control its cravings. Here a few ways for diabetics where they can take control of such situations:
  •           Cut down of the quantity of sugar in your dishes: avoid any type of market foods that are rich in sugar like cakes and cookies, instead bake them yourself at home with too little sweet. Use taste enhancers like nutmegs and cinnamon to enhance taste of the dishes.
  •           Choose to eat slowly: in cases of diabetes, sugar is like committing suicide. Still if you choose to defy all odds and eat some, remember to eat it very slowly with chewing them nicely so that you could enjoy every bit and get satisfied, instead eating a lot of them.
  •          Add sweet yourself: whenever buying food from the supermarket, ensure that you pick up stuff that do not have sugar added in them. Instead choose to have the ones without any sugar like non-sugared oatmeal and yogurt and add as per your need yourself.
  •           Eat smaller portions of desserts: controlling a sweet teeth is very difficult, but you can always cut down on the quantity. The best way is to eat half that has been served and slowly reduce with time.
  •         Never eat desserts alone: when you eat only desserts the blood sugar levels shoots up instantly, instead when you eat with other healthy foods the levels does not shoots that fast. 
Some healthy smoothies for summers – best for diabetics

      Blueberry Mint Green Smoothie

  • Spinach (These will blend better if you freeze them beforehand) – 2 cups
  • Blueberry (I used 1 c. fresh and 1 c. frozen) – 2 cups
  • Kiwi – 1
  • Large mint leaves – 3 to 4
  • Coconut water – 1 cup
  • Ice – 1 cup

           Put all ingredients in a blender and mix it up! Serve and have cold.

·                   Mango Blueberry Protein Shake
  • Unsweetened almond milk –  1 cup  
  • Frozen blueberries – 1/2 cup
  • Frozen mango – 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla protein powder – 2 scoops
  • Chia seeds – 1 tablespoon

          In a blender, mix all ingredients until smooth. Serve and have cold.

Contributed by:
Ms. Sheela Seharawat
Dietician and Founder Member – Diet Clinic

(10 Best Startups in Fitness, 2017)

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are collected by various internet sources and we do not take any responsibility for the accuracy of these views. Above article should not be considered as a substitute for Doctor’s advice. Please consult your treating Physician for more details.

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