Updated: Apr 29
Craving those sweet treats that you know are NOT beneficial to your health? Well, here are a few tips to help curb those cravings and ditch sugar for good.
Increased sugar consumption puts us at risk of a candida overgrowth, leaky gut, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, a lowered immune system and more. Have you noticed you or your child gets sick a week or two after birthday parties, Easter, Halloween or Christmas?
The World Health Organisation recommends just 3 teaspoons of added sugar per day for kids, 6 teaspoons for adult females, and 9 for adult males! Considering one small container of yoghurt contains around 3 to 4 teaspoons and a glass of orange juice contains around 6 teaspoons, it's easy to go over this recommended amount.
I've encountered many confused about all the different types of sugars. Is fruit ok? How about honey or dried fruits? Why not just use artificial sweeteners or Stevia? Go to "The Sweet Truth: Let's clear up any sugar confusion" for the answers to those questions and more.
So, how can I decrease sugar cravings?
Try including healthy fats like nuts, seeds, avocado, fatty fish, and olive oil in every meal.
Increase your intake of protein e.g. high quality meat & fish, legumes, eggs, nuts & seeds
Drink more water. Make sure you stay hydrated.
Take magnesium supplements.
Chromium supplements can also be helpful.
Check your iron levels and/or zinc status. (See "3 key nutrients you're probably lacking")
Try a piece of (very) dark, low sugar Chocolate or some blueberries.
Try essential oils like grapefruit and those in DoTERRA's Smart and Sassy Metabolic Blend.
Take apple cider vinegar. Either daily, when cravings hit or after consuming too much sugar. If you're concerned about your teeth follow these recommendations:
1. Dilute with water (1-2 Tablespoons of vinegar to almost one cup / 8 ounces of water).
2. Drink it through a straw to avoid direct contact with your teeth.
3. Rinse with water after taking it.
4. Don't brush right away!
5. Take it as a supplement in pill form.
If you're still struggling, have regular slip ups or if a candida overgrowth is likely you may need some additional help.
Berberine is a bitter-tasting, yellow-colored alkaloid compound extracted from several medicinal herbs and plants, like European Barberry, Goldenseal, Tree tumeric, or Californian Poppy. My favourite Berberine supplement comes from Thorne Research and is extracted from the root of the Berberis aristata plant.
Berberine is commonly used for metabolic, heart and vascular health. A few studies have shown it to be effective for those with type 2 diabetics, metabolic syndrome and insulin sensitivity.
Because it has powerful anti-microbial properties I also use it in the treatment of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO. Therefore I would not recommend long term use of Berberine without the assistance or support of a health professional. A few capsules after a big night out, after a sugar binge, or until cravings subside is unlikely to hurt.
A pilot study in 2008 found that Berberine worked just as well as the diabetes medication metformin when it comes to controlling blood sugar levels and without the nasty side effects!
Bioray NDF Happy is another herbal product that can help remove unwanted toxins in kids and reduce sugar cravings. It also should not be used long term.
A candida overgrowth from excess sugar and carb consumption can be extremely detrimental to one's health. It can also be very challenging to get rid of without help from a health practitioner who understands how to address its protective biofilm. You can learn more about candida here or find out how I can help as a certified functional medicine practitioner by booking a free discovery call.
Remember, excessive sugar intake also increases your risk of diabetes (type 2), heart disease, tooth decay, gout, mood disorders, fatty liver, obesity, learning difficulties, high blood pressure, alzheimers, cancer and more. It certainly can have serious consequences, so avoiding sugar is a must if you want any chance of staying healthy.