There’s no doubt sugar is addictive. Sweetness means happiness; it’s a craving that leads to the release of our feel good hormone dopamine.
We know the facts of sugar, but remember when you consume white sugar, or sugar derivatives that are not the natural kind found in fruit, you are consuming an anti-nutrient. For example Vitamin C and B found in peppers are known to help build and break down waste in the body. Waste such as sugar requires large doses of these precious nutrients in order to pass through your system.
Simply: nutrients add, sugars takes away.
In terms of food profits and sales sugar has given manufactures a distinct advantage. Who doesn’t remember the colorful cartoon characters that promoted our favorite treats when we were young children with newly developing brains, vulnerable to the temptations of the world?
Tony the Tiger never promoted broccoli. Broccoli doesn’t sell. It doesn’t taste good, and to reach the level of satisfaction that a child may receive through a bowl of frosted cereal, it can take 20 minutes and a lot of butter on that broccoli. When you hit a grocery store tired, hungry and upset, you’re likely to pick the cereal to satisfy those childhood desires.
When it comes down to it, our willpower will struggle and we will often seek comfort. Sugar is definitely a comfort food. The first step is eliminating sugar from your personal environment. Don’t bring it in the house, try not to visit convenience stores, and most importantly stop using it as a reward for yourself and kids. The more you surround yourself with it the more you will have to fight your willpower and avoid it. This can be a difficult task, but it is worth all the effort.
How do we lower our sugar levels in our diet?
- We will always experience withdrawal symptoms. Like a drug, our body doesn’t like when we take sugar away. All sugar from here on out must come with natural fibres. Even having a little bit can set you back. This has to be avoided for a minimum of two weeks, or sometimes longer depending on the level of addiction.
- Eliminate the common culprits such as sugar in hot drinks, sodas (even diet), mainstream condiments (replacing them with hot sauce or alternative versions such as Dijon mustard), removing all candies and chocolate bars, as well as processed carbohydrates like cereals and replace them with oatmeal.
- Eat a diet high in nutrients including at minimum five vegetables, a variety of natural healthy fats, and high quality protein each day to re-establish health.
- Add glutamine powder and chromium. Glutamine is an amino acid, which can provide your body with a safer alternative to glucose and can help ward off cravings. Chromium can help normalize blood sugar levels and improve blood sugar utilization. It is important to keep in mind supplementation doesn’t have to be long term; it is meant to accelerate your recovery from your addiction.
Article by Josh Stryde, nutrition coach and personal trainer at Edgemont World Health. For meal ideas, check out these Holistic Nutrition recipes or schedule an appointment with a World Health Nutrition Coach.