It is that time of the year where everywhere you look there is chocolates, champagne, cakes and sugar, sugar and more sugar! So what can you do to still have fun and not overindulge? We have some great, healthy ideas for you.
But before that, it is important to understand why sugar is so addictive and the main reasons why it is put in our foods.
A study performed on rats determined that rats who were being given cocaine eagerly switched to sugar when given the opportunity, yet the rats already on sugar didn’t make the switch to cocaine. A scary prospect, but yes, sugar is more addictive than cocaine. Some people have said that if sugar were bought onto the market today it would be classed as an illegal substance because of its addictive quality.
So, what does this mean for you and your health? Having too much sugar can cause many different health concerns, from weight issues, obesity, diabetes, fatigue, depression, kidney and liver stress, skin problems, mood swings and digestive problems and much more. In fact sugar (sucrose) is known to cause over 70 different illnesses and diseases including many forms of cancer. Mental illness such as depression and schizophrenia has also been shown to have a sugar connection.
It has been found that just 8 tablespoons of sugar, equivalent to a can of soft drink, is enough to deplete the immune system by 40% for up to 5 hours. However, before you reach for the ‘sugar free’ products, think again. These products are even more toxic to your body, linked with cancer, multiple sclerosis and many other serious health conditions. Refined sugars are the sweetest poison of all.
The science behind all the flavours and additives in our foods today is a multi million-dollar industry. These flavours and fragrances are often made up of a chemical concoction, trying to imitate Mother Nature, while being addictive at the same time. The purpose of the additives? To create more sales for the food industry. When you are in the shops next, take a look at all the numbers on the back of a packet, it can be a little overwhelming, but it is something that everyone should be aware of.
So, what should you do if you feel like you are addicted to sugar? There are several great steps that you can take which will definitely reduce or remove your cravings. The key is once this is done, to find healthier alternatives to the foods you are addicted to, so your body doesn’t depend on them day in and day out to survive.
- Consider planning a detox
A detox is a great way to cleanse out the hundreds of potential chemicals and toxins built up in your system over the years. It could be 5-7 days of just eating nothing but fruits and vegetables, you may also want to do a juice fast, or you can also incorporate a herbal cleanse to really detox the body as deeply as possible.
- Look at taking a quality Pro-biotic
If you have a build up of sugars and ‘yeast’ in your digestive system, otherwise known as ‘Candida’ the bacteria can cause sugar cravings. By taking a quality pro-biotic such as NuFerms 2012 Organic Pro-biotic, you will assist in bringing back a healthy balance of good bacteria to your digestive system, which will in turn decrease the sugar cravings.
- Go Raw
If you must have sugar, stop using the highly processed and refined ‘white death’ and start to use an organic brown raw sugar. This is sugar closer to its natural state, which is far better for you. You can also find evaporated sugar cane juice in some health food stores, which is an even better alternative. Other products available are Stevia, an herbal extract, containing no calories or chemicals. Honey and maple syrup are all more natural options that refined sugars.
- Go Natural
Instead of going for a carbonated sugary drink, try switching to a mix of mineral water and fresh juice. It still has a great refreshing flavour, but minus all of the chemicals and additives. Craving a chocolate bar? Why not go for a mango or a peach instead, just as sweet, yet natural and delicious.
- Drink Up
Did you know, that most of the time when we think we are hungry we are actually dehydrated? So if you want to kick the sugar habit, always have a bottle of water by your side.
- Do A Specific Candida Cleanse
There are some great products out there, such as Candaplex, which will enable you to assist in cleansing ‘Candida’ the bacteria that can cause you to crave more and more sugar.
- Try Something New
There are plenty of yummy and healthier alternatives to the foods that you may find yourself craving. So whatever it is for you, why not plan to take it one step in the healthier direction. If you love chocolate, switch to a raw or 80% cacao blend – this will be far better for you. If you love deserts such as cheesecake, try some different recipes such as our delicious raw raspberry cheesecake, which uses either maple syrup or agave as a sweetener. If you add sugar to a coffee or a tea, try adding honey or stevia instead. Making these little changes consistently over time will have a big effect on your health.
Whatever you do, make sure it is something you can keep to consistently. At the end of the day, the less processed foods you can ideally consume, the more water rich and alive foods you can consume the better. Take small steps now proactively, so you don’t have to be reactive because of your health choices in the years to come.