Beat Sugar Cravings With Healthy Comfort Food
By Dr. Scott Olson
Sugar cravings are awfully hard to kick. While most people shrug off sugar cravings as something mild, for those people who are trying to stay away from sugar for health reasons, sugar cravings can be a nightmare and intense. Scientists are beginning to understanding just how serious sugar cravings are with experiments showing that sugar addiction is every bit as powerful as addictions to drugs, including cigarettes, alcohol and even morphine-like drugs.
Complicated Sugar Cravings
To make matters much worse, your sugar cravings may carry-over into foods that act like sugar in your body. Foods like grains and starchy vegetables (such as bread, potatoes, rice cakes, and others) act identically to sugar in your body. So while you might be tempted to reach for a comforting slice of bread or a potato (to your body) that bread is the same as if you had just eaten white sugar. Turning to these foods when you are trying to stay away from sugar is really not doing yourself any good; it is just swapping one sugar for another.
Cravings are your body’s way of telling you that you need something; the only problem is that many of the foods we eat confuse this natural craving mechanism and make us think we want something that we don’t.
Where Are The Comfort Foods?
In a way you are stuck: your body is telling you that you should be eating foods that aren’t good for you and many of the traditional comfort foods are full of sugar or act like sugar in your body. What do you turn to when you want something comforting?
Here is what works:
- Sugar cravings come from eating sugar. Sounds silly, but the more sugar you eat, the more sugar you crave. I call this the “sugar magnet”, once you put something sweet into your mouth, more wants to follow. Avoid cravings by avoiding all sugars and foods that act like sugars.
- Your brain is where your cravings come from and it senses you are full when you eat a variety of foods including a good protein source. In order to beat your cravings, make hearty meals that are centered around a protein and include high nutrient vegetables.
- Eat often. Contrary to popular opinion, eating often actually boost metabolism and can help you control weight, even though you are eating more frequently.
- Keeping your blood sugar low will also stomp out sugar cravings. There are three types of foods that slow down the absorption of sugar into your body and they are fats, proteins and fiber. Include proteins, fats and fiber in every meal.
- Think about vegetable and protein soups; these can be very warming and comforting.
Kicking and Comforting
Kicking a sugar habit and finding comforting foods can seem like they are opposite goals, but they really have the same goal: taking care of you. While you might be tempted by sugary snacks when you need something comforting, high sugar snack often make you feel much worse. Feed your body what it really needs by giving it the vitamins and minerals it is truly craving.
Dr. Scott Olson is a Naturopathic doctor, expert in alternative medicine, author and medical researcher. Spurred on by his patients’ struggles with sugar addiction, he was determined to discover just how addictive and harmful sugar can be and ways to overcome that addiction. The result of that study is his groundbreaking book Sugarettes, which details the addictive qualities of sugar and the harm that sugar does to our bodies. You can read his blog at www.olsonnd.com