Highly-refined sugar, such as table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, is kryptonite for optimal health.Consumption increases the signs of ageing, weight gain, fatigue, bone loss, insomnia, mental fatigue and depression.Furthermore, key nutrients, including magnesium and calcium, are lost with sugar consumption.
Despite knowing sugar’s negative health consequences, we often find ourselves uncontrollably eating chocolate or sweets, unable to curb our cravings. Although one can be addicted to sugar, usually it is our diet and lifestyle choices, that are the major causes of our sweet tooth.
- Sugar causes increased transport of the amino acid, tryptophan, into the brain, where it is converted into serotonin, our feel-good brain chemical. This causes a temporary elation, followed by an immediate regression in mood.
- The release of cortisol during bouts of stress cause a roller-coaster of blood sugar highs and lows. To keep your energy up, you reach for the quickest and sweetest form of vitality—sugar.
- Sugar consumption can increase endorphin release, which has pain-relieving qualities. This is most notable during PMS, when women experience cramps and sugar cravings.
- An imbalance in gut bacteria can lead to an overgrowth of microbes, whose increased sugar requirements stimulate cravings.
Curb your cravings:
- Consume a complete protein at every meal
- Remove sweets from your kitchen and office to avoid temptation
- Opt for 70% dark chocolate which has less sugar and more anti-oxidants
- Stay hydrated, as dehydration materializes as food cravings
- Get more sleep to reduce stress