WHY DO I HAVE SUGAR CRAVINGS?

I think that everyone has had sugar cravings at some stage in their life.

The more you eat sugar, the more you will crave it.

Refined sugary foods such as cakes, pastries, biscuits, milk chocolates or sweets can cause a release of dopamine in the brain and results in a “sugar high”.

Sugar is considered a bliss food.

It can cause your blood sugar to spike up high and then come crashing down and you will be hungry again.

It can be the cause of your energy slumps in the afternoon when you start to crave sugar and you feel fatigued.

WHAT CAN BE CAUSING YOU TO CRAVE SUGAR?

You could have a blood sugar imbalance due to you eating lots of refined sugary foods.

Lack of sleep can cause you to crave sugar.  Your hormones leptin and grehlin can become imbalanced from lack of sleep and your appetite will be increased.

If you are having a lot of stress in your life, this can cause a spike in cortisol levels but in time your cortisol levels can go low.  This can cause a deficiency in magnesium, and B vitamins which control energy production and blood sugar control.  

You can get hormonal sugar cravings when estrogen levels are low and also serotonin.  

You can get sugar cravings a week before your period if your hormones estrogen and progesterone are not balanced.

To boost serotonin levels, you can eat foods rich in tryptophan such as turkey and nuts and seeds.

Sugar cravings can develop if your digestion is not healthy.  By eating sugary foods for a long period of time, your gut microbes can cause more sugar cravings.

Your gut is like a garden and you need to feed it well with plenty of good foods including fibre.  If you don’t feed it well, then weeds will begin to grow and the gut microbes will get out of balance.  

The majority of serotonin is made in the gut so if your gut microbes have been reduced and there is more bad than good, this will result in reduced serotonin.

You may be dehydrated which can cause hunger.  Check that you are taking in enough fluid during the day by drinking enough water.  Hunger can be mistaken for being dehydrated.  

Nutrient deficiencies, particularly magnesium and B vitamins caused by a poor diet and lots of stress can also cause sugar cravings.  

Eating to satisfy your emotions can cause sugar cravings because you are eating sugar when you are depressed, upset, fed up or bored.

WHAT SUGAR SHOULD YOU AVOID?

Refined sugar to include granulated table sugar.  

Glucose Syrup which is contained in a lot of shop bought cakes, muffins and biscuits.  It can be found in breakfast cereals too.  

WHAT TYPE OF SUGAR IS GOOD TO EAT?

All Fruit is a healthy sugar to eat as it contains fibre.  Fibre slows down sugar uptake in the body so you will not get sugar spikes.  

All vegetables contain small amounts of sugar

ALTERNATIVES TO REFINED SUGAR

These are healthier sugars to eat but they are still sugar and should be eaten in moderation and in small amounts to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Raw honey

Maple Syrup

Dates or Date Syrup

Coconut Sugar

Sugar Alcohols such as Stevia

TIPS TO KEEP SUGAR CRAVINGS UNDER CONTROL

Keep hydrated during the day.

Don’t eat low fat foods.  This will increase appetite as low fat foods will contain a lot of sugar. 

Eat healthy fats such as avocado, coconut oil, nuts and seeds as they can help to decrease hunger and control cravings.

Eat complex carbohydrates such as gluten free oats, sweet potato or squashes such as butternu squash.

Get plenty of sleep

Make time for exercise

Create better food choices – for example you can eat at least 70% and above dark chocolate for a sweet treat. Eat pieces of cake in moderation.  Don’t deprive yourself of sweet foods.

You could make your own sweet treats with gluten free flours, honey or dates and raw cacao powder.  

I have put together a Sweet Treats Ebook if you would like to purchase it from my ebook store on my website.