Among the many food cravings we can experience, the most common and detrimental to our health can be the craving for sugar. Most of us know by now that sugar attributes to disease in the body, including cancer, diabetes, and various forms of accelerated aging.
The “Not so Sweet” Side of Sugar
To save you from the complexity of a science lesson, I will break down “the bad” about sugar for you in a few simple bullets.
Why do you even want to give up sugar?
- Sugar feeds yeast and bad bacteria that make us sick, tired and eventually lead to disease.
- Sugar causes very unstable energy; very high highs and low lows.
- Sugar decreases focus.
- Sugar leads to accelerated aging.
How Sugar AGES The Body
When we consume sugar, the dietary sugar molecules bond to protein molecules and create what is called “cross-linked proteins.” This means the proteins in your body that normally create muscle tissue, organs, digestive tissue, skin, hair, nails, and so on are instead bonding to each other.
This is also called glycosylation a theory of aging. The basic theory is that because the proteins bond to each other, they cause old tissues to stiffen instead of creating new, elastic, and healthy tissues. This causes the tissues to dysfunction: digestive problems, arthritis, joint pain, wrinkles, osteoporosis, and clogged arteries.
Sugar essentially weakens the body, which leads to toxic accumulation due to the body’s increased inability to remove toxins and function efficiently. This causes a “brutal sequence” effect in the body that looks like this…
- First, the body starts to becomes stiffened and weakened from sugar consumption. That is because sugar (especially refined or in high-amounts is crystalline acid).
- Next, the endocrine system weakens. When the hormonal system is disrupted from having to constantly balance the blood sugar it has to work extra hard to increase immunity. That’s because sugar feeds yeast and bacteria, which the body reacts to with an immune response. In attempt to ward off bacterial and yeast overgrowth, the hormonal system is ramped up to keep the body alive from the “attack” of sugar.
- The cycling effect occurs. Enough times of throwing the immune system off with sugar, and overcharging the adrenals, the body’s energy becomes so low. This occurs from constantly striving to offset the imbalance. Eventually, weak adrenals and thyroid causes the body to lose its ability to digest, assimilate, and eliminate.
- Toxic overload sets in. When we stop digesting properly, eventually the body becomes constipated with undigested matter. We no longer successfully absorb the nutrition we are taking in, and this is where things get ugly.
- We become malnourished, sick and ugly. Once the body’s hormonal system is tampered with and we are not properly digesting our foods, we enter a vicious cycle. Without proper hormone function, the body doesn’t digest well, leading to malabsorption of the nutrients needed for proper hormone function.
- Finally, the vicious cycle sets in. Sugar is a tricky son of a b%*ch because it makes us crave more sugar. The more we eat, the more we want and the reasoning is beyond hormonal triggers. The bacterial imbalances that occur make us crave more sugar because it’s their food!
Overcoming the Crave
Though the evidence points all fingers at sugar as one of the primary culprits of dis-ease in the body, the problem here is not the sugar itself. In a healthy body, sugar is metabolized effectively and used as energy. Though I do not recommend the consumption of refined sugars, natural sugars in low-glycemic fruits (such as berries), vegetables, and properly prepared grains are life supporting foods.
The real offender is the sweet addiction to sugar. If we were balanced physically, mentally, and emotionally, we would be more capable of moderating our sugar consumption. We have discussed how the ingestion of sugar can lead to a cycling effect that causes us to want to only eat more sugar.
There is hope for breaking this cycle, but knowing where to start is the secret to really succeeding in breaking the sweet addiction. Because of the domino effect sugar can have in throwing the body out of balance, we have to work systematically to bring ourselves back into balance.
3 Step Process to Kick the Craving
1.) Defeat the Desire: Going straight to the root of the sugar craving—healing the digestive system—will fail to remove the craving, as healing is a process. Healing the hormonal system and gut are not an overnight process. Therefore, we have to work step by step to master the craving. Dealing with the situation at hand (the burning desire for sweet and sugary food), we can more effectively handle the problem as a whole later on. For now, we remove the desire for sweet food. There are a few tactics we can use to do this.
- One is to replace sweet foods with sour foods, such as fermented foods like raw kefir and raw cultured vegetables like sauerkraut. Once you start to add these fermented foods into your diet, you will notice the craving vanish. Not only do they provide a sour taste that eliminates our taste for sweets, but these fermented foods provide the body with healthy bacteria to start the process of healing the body holistically.
- Drink lemon and lime juice in water with a dash of stevia is another great way to get your sugary fix without the sugar. Lemon actually improves the availability of water. The sour taste can stimulate the gallbladder to produce clean bile, which can cut sugar cravings.
- Eat sweet vegetables such as carrots, squash varieties, onions, coconut, and gluten-free grains like quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and amaranth. These foods provide the palate of a sweet taste without the damaging effects. They also offer a whole lot of beautifying and healing nutrition! Not to mention, they are very hydrating.
- Eat more healthy fat. This will help leaps in bounds in fighting a sugar craving for good. When we eat fat we are giving our bodies the building blocks of our hormones. This helps heal the hormonal system and removing hormonal cravings by stabilizing the limbic part of the brain that sends us on a sugar hunt out of survival mode. The best fat choices are pastured animal products (meats, eggs, raw butter, ghee, and collagen), along side plant-based options like avocado, coconut oil and MCT oil, which is great for people who have trouble digesting fat because it requires no digestion.
2.) HYDRATE!: One of the most probable causes of sweet cravings is dehydration! Not only can minor dehydration cause serious sweet cravings, but more severe cases of dehydration are usually the cause of the more serious problems of bacterial infection and hormonal induced cravings. This is simple stuff, folks; drink water! You will be amazed by how fast your cravings for sugar vanish just by spending a few minutes sipping on some mineral rich water instead of giving way to your sugar hankering. It’s important to get mineral rich water so you absorb the water more efficiently. Sparkling mineral waters are great, and a surefire way to increase your mineral content in your spring water is to add some minerals to it! My favorites are humic and fulvic blends like Sunwarrior’s Liquid Light. A capful of this in your water with some lemon juice and stevia, and I promise you freedom of sugary cravings. Other great options are sparkling mineral waters like Pellegrino, Gerolsteiner and Mountain Valley. They contain high amounts of sulfates and other dissolved minerals that quench your thirst on a cellular level. Just try and notice the difference.
3.) Heal the Gut: Once you have relinquished your taste for sugar and found ways to replace your craving instead of suppressing it, you are well on your way to healing that sugar craving once and for all. The final step is to work at healing your gut. When your digestive system is not working accurately, you run into nutritional deficiencies. A deficiency in magnesium for example, can attribute greatly to sugar cravings. What your body really wants is the magnesium so it can create neurotransmitters, but your body doesn’t know how to tell you the difference between magnesium and sugar. It just sends the signal that your brain function needs a kick and whatever will get it there the fastest will do. Healing your gut is a step by step process within itself, but here are a few simple things everyone can do to start the process. The first things you want to do are steps one and two in this article. From there, here are four simple things you can do to improve your gut health: Remove gluten and any other un-sprouted grains, dairy, sugar (minimize fruit sugar), and any processed foods. Hands down the best things to do to heal your gut are cut out gut-irritating foods like gluten, pasteurized dairy, processed foods and sugar. From there, implement probiotic foods like coconut kefir and cultured vegetables, sauerkraut, and kimchi. Consume raw coconut products like virgin coconut oil, raw coconut cream, and raw coconut. Supplement glutamine, humic and fulvic minerals, and mineral rich greens powders like Vitality SuperGreens, which has all of these and more mixed in. Lastly, don’t forget to aid the liver as it is the center organ of digestion! My favorite liver supporting foods are fermented foods. Anything bitter helps stimulate the liver too. Two liver cleansing products I use personally with great results are Glutathione Force and Livamend. Also, be sure to sign-up for my free Online Course “Perfect Digestion” at the home page of my blog!
The last thing I will say on the topic of addiction, cravings and sugar is that on the deepest level; spiritually, these highs are about gaining space. Sugar, drugs and sex all give us incredible amounts of space.
When we feel trapped, be it at a job, in a relationship, in our bodies or on this planet, we will reach for the quickest solution to get us out. The downside is most of us reach for the lowest quality fixes because we haven’t been taught any better.
The ultimate highs are found in spiritual escapes. You’ll find them in unconditional love, creative arts like music, drawing, painting and dance. You can also find healthy highs in simply using your imagination.
The real reason people are addicted to sugar isn’t solely in the sugar-laden food industry but within ourselves. We lack the sweetness in our lives that can only be found long lasting in what’s eternal. Otherwise, we will always crave a quick fix. What’s more eternal than knowing your self spiritually? What’s more eternal than the present moment, where all creativity resides?
If you want a real fix, reach for something higher and the lower solutions will vanish. Get outside of your head by actually getting outside into nature, make some music, dance again, draw, and give love.