1. Avoid Fast Food and Many Packaged Foods: Most fast foods contain a large amount of hidden sugar, which causes a rapid increase in blood sugar levels followed by a sharp decline. Sugar cravings are the result of this decline in blood sugar, but the worse thing you can do is eat more sugar at this time. If you do, you’ll quickly find yourself on a blood sugar rollercoaster and the related mood swings, energy crashes and sugar cravings. Even the so-called “healthy choices” at most of these locations don’t live up to the marketing hype. Check out my blogs on Wendy’s black bean burger and McDonalds’ salads for more information. Most sauces, condiments and packaged foods also present the same problem and are best avoided as much as possible.
2. Snack Your Way to Sweet Relief: Eat a healthy snack every 2 to 3 hours to help stabilize your blood sugar levels. Ideally, your snacks should be high in protein, healthy fats or fiber since all of these nutritional compounds regulate blood sugar levels and their resulting effects on sugar cravings. Choose a handful of pre-soaked almonds, celery sticks with almond butter, coconut yogurt with sunflower seeds sprinkled on top or another similar snack option.
3. Address a Chromium Deficiency: A strong craving for sweets can indicate a chromium deficiency. Food sources of chromium include: leafy vegetables, legumes, potatoes and whole grain cereals and breads. While chromium is also found in sugar cane, sadly, the sugar industry removes all of this mineral and many other minerals during the processing of this plant to create sugar. Even brown sugar is usually white sugar with added molasses and tends to have little to no chromium. Besides that, eating sugary foods is not a good way to obtain chromium since these foods tend to deplete the body’s chromium stores during their digestion. The recommended dietary intake of chromium is 120 micrograms; however, many nutrition experts recommended 200 to 290 micrograms daily.
4. Supplement with Saffron: Research published in the Swiss medical journal Antioxidants found that saffron contains two compounds known as crocetin and crocin that reset the body’s metabolism. It appears to work by regulating brain pathways known as the “Feed-Feedback Cycle” which reduces a person’s desire for snacking and sweets. Crocetin has even been shown to reduce insulin resistance (a condition in which the body no longer responds properly to the natural compound secreted by the pancreas in response to sugars) caused by some medications. Saffron is even being touted by nutritional researchers as a natural anti-obesity remedy, since it helps address this serious precursor to obesity. Since product potencies vary, follow package directions.