“Sugar is like crack.”- Dr Frank Lipman
You probably know that sugar is the root of all evil-well, pretty much. We’ve all read about sugar contributing to tooth decay and diseases of the pancreas and liver plus cancer, candida, diabetes, obesity to name a few. For some people, sugar gives energy thanks to a spike in insulin and in others like myself, it sends me into a dark pit of despair. I always feel horrible after consuming anything with sugar. There’s a weird brain response we have to sugar and the more we eat it, the more we crave it and so on. Its a hard cycle to break but worth the effort!
Sugar is responsible for something called glycation which is a cellular chemical response to sugar, responsible in part for a break down in cells which cause wrinkles (this is a very unscientific shorthand of glycation- go here to read more!).
I try to avoid it at all costs and do not eat the usual suspects- candy, cookies and so on. It can be tough to avoid sugar completely as its in almost everything we eat from natural foods like fruits to processed like salad dressings and sauces to the very obvious, sweets.
On food labels, sugar may be listed as any of these:
Agave nectar. Brown sugar. Cane crystals. Cane sugar. Corn sweetener. Corn syrup. Crystalline fructose. Dextrose. Evaporated cane juice. Organic evaporated cane juice. Fructose. Fruit juice concentrates. Glucose. High-fructose corn syrup. Honey. Invert sugar. Lactose. Maltose. Malt syrup. Molasses. Raw sugar. Sucrose. Sugar. Syrup
What do you do when you feel a sugar craving coming on? The best way to avoid one is to stop it before it starts!
Here’s a few tips:
Remove the temptation! In my house, I don’t buy candy, cookies or sweets with the exception of dark chocolate. If I am craving something sweet, I have a spoonful of raw honey or peanut butter. But simply, I just don’t spend money on junk foods- as much as my kids wish I would.
Eat throughout the day. Small meals or snacks will help keep your energy level up. You know when you are so hungry you will eat anything that is before you? Yeah, you want to avoid that! Cravings often occur when there’s a drop in blood sugar. I try to remember to carry a small bag of almonds with me when Im out and about so I don’t give into a snack attack and eat something I’ll regret.
Consume protein! Sometimes we feel like sugar but its really a need for protein. I will eat a scrambled or hard boiled egg, turkey bacon, almonds or peanuts to get my fill of protein.
Healthy, non sugary snacks to have on hand include goji berries, almonds, dark chocolate, fruits, hard boiled eggs, cut-up vegetables, nut butters, hummus.
Once you break the sugar cycle, its much easier to move on. I would highly recommend skipping anything with artificial sugar which has been linked to cancer and for a sweet fix, have a spoonful of raw honey!
And you must watch or listen to this very informative You Tube video called Sugar: The Bitter Truth.