Archive for the ‘Sugar’ Category

Kill your sugar cravings with these 7 foods

July 18, 2017

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So, you’ve ditched the sweet stuff. For the first few days you’re flying high on green veggies and avocado – feeling like a brand new you.

But then, your body starts to realise that you’ve taken away ALL the sugar! Your brain’s sugar craving hormones begin to have a sweet little meltdown and you find yourself longing for that morning muffin, muesli bar and after dinner treat (read: half a pack of biscuits!).

If this sounds all too familiar, don’t sweat it. You’re not alone! We’ve all felt overwhelmed by our sugar cravings at some point (yes, even us) so here are some of the best sugar craving busters we’ve discovered at IQS.

1. Coconut oil.

This is a tried-and-tested trick in the IQS repertoire. “After lunch I still get sweet, ‘I need something more’ cravings,” says Sarah. “So this is my fail-proof trick. I eat two tablespoons of coconut oil. It satisfies my need for something sweet and KILLS appetite for about four to five hours.”

2. Liquorice tea.

The IQS team must literally sweat liquorice tea – we’re all drinking it! With the most amazing sweet aftertaste, you’ll have a hard time believing that it’s naturally sugar-free (unlike the liquorice sweets you can buy).

3. Sweet potato.

Sweet potato (or kumara) is one of the most delicious foods on this planet – fact. The very small amount of sugar will satisfy your cravings, while the starch stops you from overdoing it. Oh, and did we mention that sweet potatoes are ridiculously good for you?

4. Carrot sticks.

Carrots are another sweet veggie with lots of fibre to fill you up. Keep an emergency box of carrot sticks in the fridge, ready to be dipped into guacamole or hummus when the cravings strike.

5. Kombucha.

One of the things people miss most when they quit sugar is soft drinks. We suggest you skip the crappy diet pop and go for 100ml of gut-lovin’ kombucha when you need a fizzy hit. Just make sure it’s a low-sugar brand (we prefer it to be around 1g of sugar per 100ml).

6. Nut butter.

Nuts are full of good fats and proteins, making them perfect for sugar cravings. Almonds and cashews are naturally sweet, too. (Hot tip: if you make your own nut butter, add a heaped teaspoon of cinnamon to the mix to make the most delicious thing you’ve ever tasted.)

7. 85 per cent dark chocolate.

While you’ll have to give up your Twix bars, there’s nothing wrong with a little good quality cacao. A 100g block of 85 per cent dark chocolate has just over a teaspoon of sugar (not that you could finish a whole block!). To take it even further, try a 90 per cent dark chocolate. So good.

We originally published this post in June 2016. We updated it in June 2017.
Source here: https://iquitsugar.com/food-kill-sugar-cravings

Strategies for Cutting Sugar Addiction

May 24, 2015

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If you can’t seem to kick the sugar habit, you might want to start. There are many strategies to cut your addiction to sugar, but these 15 tips are some of the best methods!

Refined sugar contributes to a variety of negative side effects like tooth decay, a weakened immune system, cancer, mineral deprivation, liver damage, insulin resistance, weight gain, premature aging, depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, mood swings and hyperactivity (among many others).

Of course, not all sugar is created equal. When I talk about sugar, I mean highly-processed, refined sugar you buy in a grocery store. I am not talking about fruit sugar, which is processed by the body in a hugely different respect, and helps prevent all of the above mentioned rather than encourage it. Please, keep the fruit in your life! I have been raw vegan for 5 years, and much of my diet consists of fruit and leafy greens, and I feel younger and more vibrant every morning!

Here are 15 strategies to cut your addiction to sugar:
1. Cut back slowly

If you go cold turkey, you are more than likely to binge on everything sugar after a couple days. Cutting back slowly, by say, adding half a teaspoon of sugar to your tea instead of 1 or 2, is more reasonable than stopping altogether (or if you eat one bar of chocolate every day, cut back to half a bar, etc.). Eventually you will find that you don’t want as much sugar, and breaking the addiction will come naturally.

2. Don’t fall for sugar-free

Sugar-free items are often loaded with artificial sweeteners, which are cancerous, disease-causing and essentially the worst thing you could be putting in your body. In fact, artificial sweeteners increase your appetite and cravings for sugar (because your brain gets confused, it signals you are giving it “sweet” but isn’t fully satisfied, so continues craving), which in the end, will have you gaining more weight than you otherwise might not have wanted.

3. Read food labels

Many processed foods (canned, boxed, bagged), are loaded with sugar – food items you would have never thought possible. Sugar manages to make its way into crackers, breads, cereals, soups, condiments and so many other store-bought manufactured products. Read your labels, and make sure sugar content is below 1-2 grams per serving.

4. Beware of sneaky sugar names

Sugar isn’t always labelled as “sugar” under ingredients. It has many other forms, like sugars ending in -ose (sucrose, dextrose, fructose, glucose, galactose, lactose, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), glucose solids), cane juice, dextrin, maltodextrin, dextran, barley malt, beet sugar, corn syrup, caramel, buttered syrup, carob syrup, brown sugar, date sugar, malt syrup, diatase, and golden syrup.

5. Add flavour with sweet herbs

There are some pretty interesting herbs out there, like vanilla, and cinnamon that possess hints of sweetness and can satisfy strong sugar cravings. The bonus with cinnamon is that it regulates your blood sugar and controls your appetite. Experiment with cocoa, citrus zests, and other herbs to maximize flavour, while cutting back on sugar.

6. Don’t drink your sugar

Drinking your sugar is one of the easiest, and fastest ways to consume it without even thinking twice about it. Sodas, flavoured waters, and sports drinks are all loaded with massive un-necessary sugar content that you can swig back in no time. Instead of these sugary drinks, make flavoured water with different fruit and herbal infusions.

7. Dump processed bread products

Most commercial bread products contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup, which is highly responsible for the obesity epidemic today. In fact, processed bread can have sugar contents as high as 3 grams per slice! Two slices of toast for breakfast can equal the equivalent sugar content as a candy bar. Skip the bread, and instead make a fruit smoothie! It will satisfy you longer, and make you feel much more alive.

8. Keep candies and sweets out of the house

When they aren’t in your house, you won’t be as likely to eat them! Get rid of any candy or sweets in your house and replace them with fruit – your new habit will be much better for you, and you won’t be tempted to reach in your cupboard for something sweeter (medjool dates make a great “candy” substitution).

9. Stop adding sugar to your recipes

One of the easiest ways to reduce refined sugar consumption would be to stop adding sugar to your recipes! Casseroles, soups, sauces, vegetables, you name it – they often call for sugar. Instead, you can substitute applesauce, mashed bananas or pureed dry fruit in baking, or you can simply cut the sugar in half, or not even add it at all!

10. Make your own condiments or don’t use any at all

Condiments are often loaded with sugar. Take ketchup, for example. This common household condiment contains over 4 grams of sugar per tablespoon. That is a ridiculous amount of sugar for such a small serving size. Anything ranging from ketchup to relish, to barbecue sauce and salad dressings, are all loaded with sugar. Make your own, so that you know just how much sugar you are consuming.

11. Eat enough healthy fat

Eating enough healthy fats will prevent you from craving highly-processed (“empty”) nutrient-deprived carbs like rice, white bread and white pasta. If you aren’t fuelling your body properly, it will resort to the fastest calorie source, regardless of nutrient value, which means anything from pies, pastries, donuts, cookies, white bread or white pasta.

12. Exercise beats sugar cravings

Exercising regularly actually helps beat sugar cravings. Exercising vigorously for just 20 minutes a day will encourage endorphin release and dopamine production. Why is this so significant? Daily bingeing on sugar repeatedly releases dopamine in the nucleus accumbens (the reward centre of the brain), similar in the way a drug addict’s brain will release dopamine each time they partake in drug use.

So basically, exercising will excite dopamine production in the same way sugar does, so the next time you are craving some sugary goods, go exercise for awhile and you will find that your craving will disappear. And when you’re done exercising, make a healthy fruit smoothie with some added greens to fully satisfy your brain’s glucose requirement, and to replenish your muscles.

13. Drop fancy teas, coffees and hot chocolates

If you are addicted to the daily routine of latte’s and sugar-loaded teas and hot chocolate, then you may want to substitute it with something else. There are great coffee substitutions that you can easily whip up in no time, as well as the option of making your own beverages at home. This way you can track how much sugar you are putting in your drinks, and you can also opt for immune-boosting honey instead (make sure it is raw, and local), or unrefined coconut sugar.

14. Get enough sleep

Getting enough sleep under your belt is another crucial factor in ensuring you don’t reach for the nearest cookie jar. One of the negative side effects of sleep deprivation is that our ghrelin levels increase (hormones that make you feel hungry), while our leptin levels decrease (hormones that make you feel full), setting up a perfect scenario for over-eating when tired.

Lack of sleep is often correlated with a preference for sweeter foods, mainly because our brain is fueled by glucose, and so to keep us awake throughout the day, it desperately seeks out any source of fast, easy sugar access. So make sure you get enough sleep, and if you don’t get enough sleep, at least make sure only healthy carbohydrate-rich options are at your reach, like bananas, dates, mangoes, or any other fruit!

15. Eat leafy greens and fruit

Leafy greens, whether you eat them in salads, press them in juices or blend them in smoothies are a great way to retrain your tastebuds and detox your liver from years worth of sugar consumption. Usually when our brain is craving refined sugar, we are instinctually craving what our body needs most – FRUIT! Fruit contains beneficial sugars that our body can recognize and use in their true, raw form, as well as vitamins and minerals that we require to function at our absolute best!

Article sourced from: http://livelovefruit.com/strategies-to-cut-your-addiction-to-sugar/
Read more at http://livelovefruit.com/strategies-to-cut-your-addiction-to-sugar/#XcdbLwJezLSrfU4D.99

Which Is Worse: High Fructose Corn Syrup Or Sugar?

March 1, 2015

VBK-SUGAR_260868fWhile both sweeteners really aren’t great, high fructose corn syrup, which is found in a wide variety of highly processed foods and beverages such as baked desserts, salad dressings, ketchup, sodas, and ice cream, is the slightly more dangerous choice.

Too much of any sugar is bad for you—in excess, it promotes insulin resistance, weight gain, and inflammation that contributes to chronic illnesses like heart disease and cancer. From a health perspective, some experts say HFCS (which is, obviously, derived from corn) is no different than table sugar (which comes from sugar cane and sugar beets), but there’s one difference between highly-processed HFCS and regular sugar that gives me pause: Some forms of HFCS may release more fructose within the body than does sucrose, or table sugar (which pales equal parts glucose and fructose). Glucose triggers feeling of fullness to help keep you from overeating, while fructose doesn’t.

Worse: a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition found that HFCS is significantly more toxic to female mice than table sugar is, harming their reproductive health and shortening their lifespan. Other animal studies suggest that high intakes of HFCS can slow brain function, impairing memory and the ability to learn.

There is also an environmental impact to consider, as the government-subsidized growing of corn requires large amounts of fertilizer and pesticides, and depletes the soil of nutrients.

Though some manufacturers, like Hershey, are doing away with HFCS in favor of ordinary table sugar, many still favor HFCS because it tastes sweeter than regular corn syrup, helps maintain a long shelf life for their products, and, until recently, has been relatively inexpensive. But there are better, healthier ways to add flavor, like a splash of maple or glucose syrup or adding vanilla or cinnamon.

Regular sugar can add to the pleasure of eating in small doses, but we consume far too much of it. In fact, the average American consumes 22 teaspoons of sugar daily, most of that coming from sugar-sweetened sodas, grain-based desserts such as cookies and cake, candy, energy drinks, ready-to-eat cereals, and yeast breads. So when you’re reaching for a snack, read ingredient lists carefully to avoid added sugars as much as possible. Or stick with naturally low-sugar options like air-popped popcorn, plain Greek yogurt, sorbet, and dried fruit.

Article sourced from: http://www.prevention.com/food/high-fructose-corn-syrup-versus-sugar
Written by Andrew Weil MD