Sugar craving. Sweet tooth. Call it what you want, many people love sweets and have difficulty avoiding them. There is a very good explanation on why this happens. There are also ways to fight it off.
Naturally, everything we consume enters our gut. In small doses, sugars entering the gut are not an issue. When we consume sugar on a regular basis, though, that is when the problems develop.
Good bacteria live in your gut. This is what aids in digestion, keeps your gut healthy, and ultimately helps keep you healthy. When you consume sugar and refined carbohydrates on a regular basis, the good bacteria can be overgrown by a yeast, which is called Candida. Candida thrives on sugar and therefore causes you to crave more sugar. (Candida can also cause a number of other health issues due to how our gut health influences our overall health.) This causes an upward battle – you consume sugar, it feeds the Candida, you crave more sugar, and the cycle continues.
As long as the Candida is in our system, we will continue to crave sweets and carbohydrates. How do we get the Candida out of our system? By avoiding sugars and carbohydrates for a period of time.
When talking about avoiding sugars and carbohydrates, there may be more in that list than you think. It is not just avoiding the sweets.
You want to avoid the following foods for at least 30 days (60 days if you can) in order to clear the Candida from the gut:
- Sugar and other sweeteners
- Grains and refined carbohydrates
- Fruit (fresh and dried) and fruit juices
- Starchy vegetables
- Processed foods (many contain added sugars that you may not realize unless you read the labels closely)
- Wine and beer
Why avoid all of those? They all contain sugars that break down into simple sugars. These simple sugars are what caused the issue in the first place. In order to break the cycle, we need to clean out the gut from all of these.
Does this mean you will have to avoid them forever? Absolutely not! It just means afterward you will be best to consume in small doses or moderation.
What does this look like? Avoid processed foods and sweets, limit your fruits and grains to small servings, and consume alcohol in moderation.
Now, time to get to the stuff you really care about…how exactly do you fight off the cravings as you are attempting to clear the sugars from your system?
We trick our system, that’s how! Consuming fats, preferably healthy fats, can counteract the sugar cravings you have. So, instead of eating the cookie that you really want, try eating some nuts and seeds, an avocado, or some coconut chips (unsweetened, please). Healthy fats are a great way of tricking the gut and the brain into thinking you have consumed sweets.
Want something flavored to drink but can’t touch the juice or soda you normally consume? Try sparkling water. Some are sweetened, so be sure to avoid those; the unsweetened ones are a great alternative when you want something other than water to drink.
Keep this it up long enough and you will be past those sugar cravings before you know it!
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