You heard that “sweet=bad. “Now what can you do to get your family to eat healthier meals?
The need for sweets usually signifies inner nutritional imbalance. Constant cravings for sweets are usually the result of not consuming enough complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables as well as Omega 3 fatty acids.
When I see sugar cravings, I look at the underlying imbalance first. The quickest and easiest way to stop bingeing on sweets is not (believe it or not) quit cold turkey. The more long-term and lasting solution would be to look at the other things you are eating.
Every processed food product that comes in a box contains way too much sugar, so if you are trying to stop eating candy bars, the packaged foods should be the first thing to go from your pantry. You don’t want wheat and high fructose corn syrup. Popcorn, crackers, chips and other foods, which are processed, but not necessarily sweet in flavor all contain sugar. Eating too much highly concentrated carbohydrates over a long period of time can cause insulin insensitivity that can lead to diabetes and other health conditions. If you follow your boxed lunch with a bag of potato chips and some candy, you are creating a ticking time bomb.
Sugar disrupts the vitamin-mineral balance in the body, it messes up with your energy levels, it depresses the immune function. It can contribute to various diseases, ranging from osteoporosis to diabetes to cardiovascular disease. It can also cause wild mood swings and depression, among other things.
Including more complex carbohydrates in your diet should dramatically help with sugar cravings. Instead of eating regular bread, switch to gluten-free version. Eat whole unprocessed grains at least once or twice a day. You can pick from quinoa, oats, bulgur, buckwheat, barley, amaranth, brown or wild rice or millet. These grains can be easily found in a health food store and cooked in ten to twenty minutes with some salt and olive oil. The grains make a delicious alternative to potatoes or white rice, which should be avoided, if you are looking to get rid of your sugar cravings.
Include more vegetables in your diet. Green vegetables (broccoli, kale, zucchinis, celery, cucumbers, etc) should be eaten at least once a day, as well as red vegetables (squash, carrots, sweet potatoes.) Fruits of all kinds can be eaten once-twice a day. As far as drinks go, all artificial sodas and high-sugar fruit juices should be avoided in favor of pure water, which could have lemon added for taste.
Extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice or natural fruit purees with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar with olive oil should replace all packaged salad dressings, which are frequently loaded with preservatives and sugars. Here’s a nice recipe for protein- rich spirulina dressing.
Strive for every meal to include salty, pungent, astringent, bitter and sweet tastes. I posted about how to create a balanced meal a while ago. Sweet flavor can be obtained naturally, through nutritious foods, like sweet vegetables, dates, figs, dried apricots, bananas, apples, mangoes and nut butters.
Lack of dietary omega-3 fatty acids can also result in an increased intake of sugar, according to some recent research. To correct this problem, eat more fish or take fish oil or krill oil supplements (make sure the oil comes from small, mercury-free fish) or flaxseed oil capsules. Another supplement, proven effective for sugar cravings and imbalances worth experimenting with is an Ayurvedic herb, called gymnema sylvestre.