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Sugar is a Drug

By James Colquhoun (Food Matters)

It’s been labeled the sweetest poison, toxic, and harmful and recently in ‘Hungry For Change’… a drug. Unfortunately it does seem a little extreme to label a food as a drug but when you look at how sugar (especially the highly refined and processed kinds) are metabolized by your body then you can begin to understand why.

Sugar when taken in excessive amounts can lead to cravings and addictions, quite similar to those with alcohol and tobacco, yet we have no problem labeling them as drugs. As Jason Vale says from the 'Hungry For Change' film, "it's illegal to give a child cigarettes and alcohol, and so it should be, but it's not illegal to give them white refined sugar or refined fats."

We're allowing ourselves and our children to become addicted to this substance causing soaring rates of obesity, one of the leading causes of preventable death. Here are some tips on how you and your children, can kick sugar cravings for good.

10 Simple Tips For Kicking Sugar Cravings

1. Avoid Processed Junk Foods

You know from watching 'Hungry For Change' that sugar and processed foods can be as addictive as heroin. Eating sugar artificially stimulates a region of your brain called the nucleus accumbens, to produce dopamine, the pleasure neurotransmitter. Soon dopamine levels drop and we start to feel “flat”...or a bit “down”. We crave this pleasant, feel-good feeling sugar leads to addiction.

2. Boost Your Serotonin

Serotonin, aka “the happiness hormone,” can be raised through a natural low glycemic diet, daily exercise and plenty of deep restful sleep. When you have sufficient serotonin, you are less likely to have cravings for sweets.

3. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth With All Natural Stevia

The all-natural sweetener, stevia, has zero calories, does not raise blood sugar levels and is 300 times sweeter than sugar. If you have sugar cravings and want to satisfy your sweet tooth safely, stevia is your best bet. Stevia comes in a liquid and powder form from your local health food store.

4. Drink Plenty of Water

drink plenty of waterYou may sometimes think that your body is asking for sugar, when in fact it’s dehydrated and really craving water! Try this simple delicious cravings-buster lemonade: In 8 oz. of water, add the juice of ½ lemon and 5 drops of stevia. You could also try a warm cup of green tea, sweetened with stevia with your meals. This way your sweet taste is satisfied and you won’t want a dessert.

5. Keep Your Blood Sugar Stable

Eat several small, healthy meals throughout your day instead of three large portions to avoid dips in blood sugar. Your evening meal should be one of the preferred gluten-free grain-like seeds (quinoa, millet, buckwheat, amaranth). If you do this, your body will produce more serotonin, you’ll feel happier and you’ll sleep much better at night.

6. Have Plenty of Greens

Have plenty of greensLoaded with nutrition greens help boost your energy and help reduce cravings for sugar and processed foods.Green juices are an amazing way to add life giving and detoxifying plant chlorophyll to your bloodstream. As Jason Vale says in 'Hungry For Change', "juicing is the ultimate fast food, it is a 15 minute nutrient express to health". Some of my favorite and simple green juice recipes include:

Green Juice Recipe Ideas:

  • Celery, lemon and pear (or apple)
  • Celery, cucumber, lemon (leave the skin on) and pear (or apple)
  • Celery, cucumber, kale, lemon and pear (or apple)
  • Celery, cucumber, lemon, parsley and pear (or apple)

I also like to stir whatever green powders I have on hand, try barley grass, wheatgrass, spirulina or chlorella powders.

7. Eat More Sea Vegetables

Loaded with vitamins and minerals, seaweed or sea vegetables make for a a great addition to salads and meals! They are mineral-rich while eating anything with sugar immediately depletes minerals from your body. Sprinkle dulse flakes on your salad or an avocado. Add seaweed to your soups for a rich salty and mineral flavour. mmm...

8. Eat and Drink More Fermented Foods and Drinks

Fermented foods and drinks can be one of the most important ways to reduce or even eliminate cravings for sugar. Try live fermented kefir, sauerkraut, kim-chi, kombucha tea, natural plain yoghurt, coconut kefir or any of your favourite fermented foods. You’ll be amazed at how the sour taste of fermented foods and drinks relieves the desire for sugar and processed foods.

9. Learn Meditation & Stress Reduction Techniques

Meditation can help ward off cravings by helping reduce stress. Stress creates the hormone cortisol, which increases your blood sugar. This is a vicious cycle that damages your adrenals and creates sugar cravings. Try a yoga or meditation class before or after work to calm your body and mind.

10. Try EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)

If you’re looking to shift the desire for sugar, lose weight, stop a habit of binging or eliminate any addiction, you owe it to yourself to learn about EFT. EFT is an easy tool that anyone can learn in minutes. You simply tap on emotional acupressure points on your body while repeating key statements that help shift your body, mind and habits. Learn about EFT here:

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