Having a sweet tooth is just a simple term one uses to express their addiction towards sugar but the effects of it can be quite harmful for your health. The World Health Organization recommends less than 50gm or added sugar per day but for maximum health benefits they recommend less than 25gm of added sugar per day. If you give it a thought then a regular can of aerated drink has roughly 40gm of added sugar leaving no room for any healthier option.
A recent study was done by Michael Winterdahl, associate professor at the Department of Clinical Medicine,Aarhus University in Denmark who concluded that sugar can alter brain chemistry in 12 days. Though the study was done on pigs and not on humans but the effects of added sugar was quite evident. The professor also quoted that “foods high in sucrose influence brain reward circuitry in ways similar to those observed when addictive drugs are consumed”.
Another alternate for added sugar are low calorie sweeteners which are present in products labelled as “diet or “sugar-free” but they shouldn’t be considered as healthier alternatives. Although the effects are not yet fully proven but Harvard School of Public Health suggested that these low calorie sweeteners can make you crave for more sweet food and drinks after you have them. So the question is how can you try to stop or minimise sugar cravings?
Below are some different ideas to reduce yet satisfy our sugar cravings in a healthy way:
1. Read the labels- Of course it can be a task to always keep tracking what you eat but it’s really important if you are having processed food products. Terms that end with “ose” are also type of sugar like fructose, sucrose etc. So you need to be smart enough to have a detailed information about what you have in order to know it’s effect on your body.
2. Satisfy your cravings in a smarter way- One of the best ways to do that is by incorporating healthy fats, protein and fibre rich food like nuts and seeds as they will not spike your blood sugar level. Also have fresh and seasonal fruits to ease your sweet tooth, as they not only have natural sugar but are also rich in antioxidants and vitamins. In short have whole foods to gain maximum health benefits.
3. Replace soda beverages- As we mentioned above that soda drinks have a lot of added sugar so it’s better to switch them up with natural coconut water, detox or infused water.
4. Experiment with snacks- Have snacks with little or no sugar like frozen berries, almond dipped in dark chocolate and dates candy
5. Don’t go cold turkey- It’s not at all a good idea to stop sugar and cut it off completely. If you do so it will make you rebound quicker and you might end up eating a lot more once you accidently taste even a bit of any sweet stuff.