How much do you crave sugar? If your answer is all the time, you are part of the group of people hooked to sugar. Depending on your eating habits, this can be mild or intense, affecting your overall health, from tooth decay, anemia, overweight, and diabetes.
Our brain sees sugar as a reward by craving more of it, not because you are hungry. Cravings start when we eat processed foods full of artificial sugars and additives as a constant habit.
Why do We Feel Sugar Highs?
Scientifically speaking, our body identifies artificial sugar as a simple carbohydrate that quickly converts to glucose in your blood. Carbohydrates cause your brain to release the happy hormone. This process makes you believe you need sugar to feel good, and it becomes a cycle, not to mention that they also taste good.
These are commonly reflected after a meal or at various times throughout the day. Surprisingly, not only chocolates and candies count, but processed bread, cakes, and pastries.
There are many reasons why your dentist is right to recommend avoiding sugars. Here are some reasons:
- Overeating sugar leads to bacteria growth in your mouth. Candies, for example, leave a large amount of sticky residue on your teeth that are too strong for your saliva to wash away
- Sugar can lead to gum disease in the mouth
- Some sugars with added colorants may be staining your teeth, affecting the appearance of them
Essential Tips to Fight Sugar Cravings
Tip #1 Keep fruit handy
When a sugar craving hits, make sure you have some fruit, this will healthily provide sweetness.
Tip #2 Go Step By Step
Because your body is constantly receiving sugar rushes and suddenly stops, you will have mood swings. Your body will feel weak. The best thing to do is not to deprive yourself of the sugar you consume entirely. You may start adding less sugar to your coffee or tea, snacking on foods with less sugar, such as fruits, and drinking more water until the cravings decrease more and more.
Tip #3 Create a Balance
Combine “good” foods with no-so-good food. For example, mix almonds with chocolate chips, dip some bananas in chocolate sauce. If you are craving carbohydrates (which also counts as sugars), try buying integral loaves of bread.
Tip #4 Brush your teeth
By brushing your teeth once you finish eating your regular meals, your brain receives a message not to allow food intake, and the sugar craving will stop soon. As an added benefit, you will be taking primary care of your teeth, avoiding cavities caused by sugar.
Bonus Tip: Visit your dentist often!
In case you suffer from diseases caused by sugar intake, and these tips do not help you enough, it’s essential to check your oral health with a specialist. Dr. Jim Erpenbach offers exceptional dental care whenever you need it. If you are in Knoxville, TN., this is your chance to visit the best in town.