Drinking plenty of water, eating breakfast and loading up on protein are the most effective ways to beat sugar cravings, according to top nutritionist
By: Isabelle Z.
We all know that sugar is very bad for our health, but it can still be extremely difficult to break free of the habit. Sugar can cause diabetes and inflammation, it can feed cancer cells, and it's responsible for much of the global obesity epidemic. Nevertheless, it is still being consumed in shocking amounts, with worldwide consumption in the last two years estimated at 173.4 metric tons. With one study finding that sugar is as addictive as cocaine, it's easy to see why so many people can't help but give in to sugar cravings.
The Daily Mail recently asked leading nutritionists for their best advice on helping people break free of this unhealthy habit. Here are their top tips:
1. Drink lots of water
This dietary advice crops up time and time again, and for good reason. Staying hydrated is good for your overall health and for your skin, but it can also help you fight off sugar cravings. London-based clinical nutritionist, Peter Cox, says that when you're dehydrated, the flow of sugar into your body's cells is reduced, which drives sugar cravings. It is recommended that women drink nine cups of water a day, while men should aim for 13 cups.
2. Eat a big breakfast every day
If you want to keep sugar cravings at bay, you need to start the day out right with a well-rounded breakfast. Look for foods that rank low on the glycemic index to avoid a spike in your blood sugar levels; this will help you stay full for longer. Cox recommends eating a breakfast that is full of protein within the first 45 minutes of waking up.
3. Load up on protein
Protein isn't just important at breakfast; you'll want to include it with every meal to help slow the absorption of sugar from the foods you eat. The same goes for fiber. This is because the slower your body absorbs the sugar, the less impact it will have on your blood sugar. Moreover, this ensures your body does not feel the need to produce adrenaline and insulin. These hormonal changes are known to promote blood sugar imbalances.
4. Skip artificial sweeteners
Some people think that giving up sugar is as easy as switching to artificial sweeteners, but nothing is further from the truth. There are lots of reasons why you should avoid artificial sweeteners, but this is especially true for those who are trying to give up sweets.
In fact, these toxic substances actually boost your sugar cravings and make it harder for you to steer your flavor preferences away from very sweet foods. The first few days of giving up sugar might be difficult to get through, but after just a few days, you'll start to find more sweetness in the non-sweet foods you eat. In fact, many people who give up sugar and then later give in to temptation report that their old favorites are now too intensely sweet to enjoy!
5. Eat frequently
You'll want to eat on a regular basis to keep your blood sugar levels from dropping too low, which will lead to cravings. Don't let more than five hours pass between meals or snacks.
One good way to make sure you get enough protein and fiber in your meals and snacks is by filling up on healthy foods like seeds, vegetables and beans. Organic sprouts are a great way to achieve this, and when you grow them yourself with a home sprouter like the EasyGreen MikroFarm, you can be certain that they have not been doused in any pesticides or other toxic chemicals.