We all love sugary foods from time to time but issues occur when sugar becomes an addiction rather than a treat. The more sugar you eat the more you crave it!
Why do we crave sugar?
This is one of the most common questions asked and there is a logical reason behind it. At birth our first preferred taste is sweet. We associate it with comfort and carbohydrates stimulate the release of serotonin which is a feel good hormone. Sugar is the simplest carbohydrate; however carbohydrates also come in the form of grain, fruit and vegetables and they are extremely important in the diet.
People argue that they do not add sugar to their food but it is ingested through the hidden components of food. Sugar is a relatively cheap commodity and is added to a lot of processed foods, even to foods you may not consider to be sugary such as; bread, yoghurt, juices and sauces. The recommended allowance is 23 teaspoons (90g) of sugar daily, shockingly, the average Irish person can consume up to 32 teaspoons of sugar a day.
How do you stop your sugar cravings?
There are a number of ways to keep your sugar addiction at bay but the following steps may help control the amount of sugar you take in, keeping the cravings to a minimum.
- Have a little – I never recommend avoidance of any food. It’s all about controlling how often and how much you eat of a certain food. So, if you take two sugars in your tea reduce it to one, then reduce again to half a spoon, eventually your tea will be sugar free or at least somewhat reduced!
- Plan your meals – Sometimes unhealthy food choices happen due to lack of planning. Meal plans can be made once or twice a month and it means you are less likely to binge on high sugar foods. Keeping a food diary can be another method of managing your daily meals.
Whelehans Nutrition Service
Whelehans nutritional service is a private one to one advice service with our nutritionist Aisling Murray. Aisling’s areas of interest include weight loss management, nutrition education and food intolerance. Our nutrition service offers you the chance to change your life in a positive way by focusing on your overall wellbeing as well as the chance to follow up on your progress.
To be continued....next week
Aisling Murray has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and offers a one to one specialist nutrition service at Whelehans Pharmacy. Call Whelehans at 04493 34591 for an appointment. Aisling’s Nutrition Clinic costs only €10 per week.