The Dangers Of A Sweet Tooth
Who doesn’t love a nice slice of triple-layer chocolate cake after a long day of work? What about curling up on the couch with a pint of ice cream to binge-watch a new show? These scenarios trigger our sweet tooth, which can be innocent in moderation. But when sugar cravings overwhelm common sense, there’s a serious problem. Doctors link excess sugar to almost every chronic disease and chronic inflammation, so keeping desires in check is crucial.
Sugar cravings start in the brain
This information begs the question; why do sugar cravings happen so much? Well, humans are designed to crave sugar. Going back to tens of thousands of years ago, humans used sweetness to determine which foods were safe to eat. As the centuries passed, sweet foods became more accessible, affecting the dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is the reward and pleasure neurotransmitter in the brain. Naturally, humans will do more things to get bigger dopamine hits. And one of the easiest ways to do so is to consume more sugar.
Processed sugars made things worse
Consuming sugar brings a big rush of dopamine. To achieve that big rush a second time, one would have to consume much more sugary food. Food companies became wise to this fact. The body’s response to sweets became a catalyst for inventions like high fructose corn syrup and sucrose. Now sugar is present in almost every food and beverage, even the ones many would not suspect. Today, the average American consumes over 70g of sugar daily since most have built up a significant tolerance. Now, when someone is not eating sweet foods or not eating at all, cravings kick in.
Death by 1,000 sweets
Sugar cravings sound eerily similar to drug addiction. Some drugs, like sugar, provide a rush of dopamine. However, drugs have immediate health issues and are deadly. Sugar, on the other hand, slowly damages the body. For starters, the body cannot create enough insulin to keep up with the sugar in the blood. The excess turns into fat in the trunk of the body and creates chronic inflammation. From there, expect issues like acne, mood swings, and accelerated aging. Over several years, excess sugar is the catalyst for deadly conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Luckily, there are a few steps anyone can take to keep cravings in check.
1. Consider intermittent fasting
Sugar is the problem. However, the solution is not as simple as quitting altogether. There must be a mindful way to reduce those cravings. Intermittent fasting can help. Intermittent fasting is the process of only consuming food within a particular window of time. Technically, everyone fasts from sleep to breakfast, covering about 12 hours. However, increasing the timeframe to about 16 hours before the first meal can help with cravings. Fasting increases the hormone leptin, which determines satisfaction, and decreases ghrelin, the hunger hormone. Furthermore, intermittent fasting maintains blood sugar levels and dopamine levels.
2. Max out your magnesium
Magnesium is an essential macromineral responsible for hundreds of processes in the body. Some little-known jobs of magnesium include regulating blood sugar, insulin production, and releasing dopamine. Many doctors believe sugar cravings could actually be a magnesium deficiency, especially if the person craves chocolate. Men should get between 400-420mg per day, with women up to 320mg of magnesium.
3. Boost your B complex
The term B-complex refers to a group of 8 B vitamins that are key to health and wellness. B vitamins are involved in thousands of processes in the body, and deficiencies are easily felt. Together, these vitamins help with metabolism, nervous system health, and brain health. B-complex goes a bit further by efficiently processing food, reducing the need for sugar cravings.
Curb those cravings in short order
Getting sugar cravings under control is no easy task. Sugar withdrawals are common, leading people back into the arms of a favorite sweet treat. However, with mindfulness, fasting, and these helpful supplements, cravings can reduce significantly. In fact, anyone should be able to achieve a sugar detox in 14-21 days. If there is a genuine concern, speak with a doctor for further assistance.
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