Sugar Cravings - You Can Tame Them In Your Kitchen
Sugar is one of the most highly refined foods. A cup of sugar bears no resemblance
to a stalk of sugar cane or a sugar beet. All the fiber, vitamins and minerals are gone.
Many "natural sugars" are marketed today such as fructose, dehydrated cane juice
and turbinado sugar. These are not much different than white sugar. Also an excess of
sweet flavor from any source, even fruit juice, upsets the balance of protein and
carbohydrates.This depletes minerals, such as calcium, and weakens the kidney and adrenal
functions. The adrenals are the backup system for many body functions, when they are
stressed by a high sugar diet they can't help out the other organs.
When sugar is eaten regularly the blood sugar level is thrown out of balance.
Eating sugar raises blood sugar quickly, followed by a crash. When complex carbohydrates
are consumed the blood sugar level stays more constant. Eating sugar regularly causes
cravings for more. This is especially true if the rest of the diet is heavy with refined
and processed foods such as white flour products and canned, packaged and fast foods.
Are you ready to break the pattern? Here is what to do. It takes three weeks to
create a new habit or break a long-standing one. Sitting on your hands and saying "I
will not consume sugar" will not work. Forget willpower. Instead eat more unrefined
complex carbohydrate foods (whole grains, fresh vegetables and whole fruits). If what you
want is a soft drink or ice cream, a cup of tea or a bowl of rice will not satisfy the
immediate craving. However as more whole foods are added to your diet, cravings will be
reduced naturally. Because the Standard American Diet (SAD) is low in complex
carbohydrates many people yo-yo back and forth between very sweet and very spicy or salty
foods. Have a donut - chow down some cheese - reach for juice - chomp some chips - eat a
cookie - next a few pretzels - then a soda. The body is striving for balance but is being
fed only extremes. Here is your basic shopping list so that you can eat in a way that will
reduce sugar cravings.
Grains: brown rice, barley, polenta, quinoa, millet bulgur and oats.
Cereals: processed cereals are not really whole grains, but if you use them choose
shredded wheat and others without added sweeteners. Read the labels.
Breads: Look for whole wheat as the first ingredient on the label. Eliminate or
greatly reduce white flour products.
Vegetables: Here are some really strong allies in your battle against sugar
cravings. Buy and use lots of sweet vegetables, squash, sweet potatoes, carrots and
onions. Turnips, beets and parsnips are good too. These sweet vegetables satisfy our
bodies' desire for sweet flavor. Eat a lot of them for three weeks and you will want less
refined sugar products. Many people find they taste too sweet after a while. The green
vegetables are important too, especially the leafy ones.
The versatile onion becomes sweeter the longer it is cooked. Try this: Dice an
onion and place it in a skillet with some water. Saute slowly, when onions are soft add a
few drops of cold pressed olive or sesame oil. Add these to grain dishes, soups and any
other cooked vegetables. Make a soup with carrots, squash, yams or sweet potatoes (any two
or three of these.) Cook the vegetables in water with a bit of sea salt. Puree then add
cooked onions as above. Some grated ginger is good in this also.
Fruits: Buy and eat whole fruit, preferably those that are in season. When sugar
is consumed as part of whole fruit, we eat less and it is more balancing as fiber vitamins
and minerals are present. Juice has more concentrated sugar than whole fruit.
During this transition period concentrate on eating as many whole foods as
possible. When you do consume sugar, limit the amount. As the days progress you will find
the cravings diminishing naturally.
Eat at home as much as possible during the three week period. Take a simple meal
of grains and vegetables to work for lunch. Make vegetable soups, they are satisfying.
Chewing your food thoroughly is important for good digestion and will also help
reduce cravings. Yes, your grandmother was right!
For more natural sweeteners use all fruit jams, rice syrup or barley malt or maple
syrup. Try some amazake, a sweet drink made from rice, it comes in several flavors.
Have you been using artificial sweeteners? They make our bodies think they are
getting sugar, but don't deliver. Instead of satisfying a craving, they make it worse.
Instead try stevia a whole herbal food with 30 times the sweetness of sugar and negligible
calories. It is available as a powder or liquid extract. The liquid comes in a small
dropper bottle that is easy to carry with you. It is quite concentrated. Stevia does not
upset blood sugar level.
Here are some conditions you are preventing by greatly reducing or eliminating
refined sugar. Obesity, Hypoglycemia, Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease,
Anemia, Immune Deficiency, Tooth Decay, Yeast Infections and emotional upsets. If these
are not reasons enough to stop sugar, here is what you will be gaining. You will have
fewer mood swings, higher spirits, restful sleep, fewer colds, more endurance and
concentration and improved general health.
As the TV commercial for consolidating your debts says "No time like the
present". Starting to eat less sugar now and during the holidays will bring you to
January 1st in good health and spirits, and no resolution to break in that cold bleak
first week of the year.