Have you ever found yourself asking; ‘why do I crave sugar?’ Have you ever wondered how your body benefits from sugar and if perhaps it’s better to quit sugar? Well, maybe you don’t fully understand this sweet substance yet.
It’s time to find out more about it.
What is the Role of Sugar in the Body
Sugar has a bad reputation. Many people often consider it as an enemy of the body, especially when it comes to creating a nutritious and well-balanced diet. Something you might not know is that the body relies on small amounts of sugar to function and you wouldn’t be able to survive without it.
The key is to know the right amount of sugar you should take.
Here are some roles of sugar in the body:
- Energy – sugar provides your muscles with energy and is the source of energy of the brain and nervous system.
- Metabolism – It helps your body metabolize fats and prevents the body from using protein as energy
- Blood Sugar – also called blood glucose, sugar is broken down in a series of chemical reactions that create energy, fueling the cells. This process also involves insulin, which tells the body to absorb the glucose and use it as a source of energy.
- Back-up Energy – Glycogen is glucose that is stored in the liver and muscles. It acts as a reserve source of energy. When you work out or exercise and your blood glucose levels begin to drop, your body will use glycogen as back-up energy. To replenish glycogen, eat carbohydrates.
The body does require sugar so making a resolution such as, ‘I quit sugar’ is not the best idea.
Why am I Craving Sugar
Craving sugar is completely normal. You’ll find some people have sugar addiction and find themselves wondering ‘Why am I craving sugar?’
Here are four reasons for your sugar cravings:
- Thyroid Failure – If you find yourself stressed, tired and craving sweets throughout the day then be warned, these could be early warning signs of an underactive thyroid gland. When left undetected and unmanaged, it could lead to fatigue. It could also result in frequent headaches caused by tension in the muscles that are not getting the energy they need to function.
Experts recommend drinking more water, cutting back on caffeine, taking herbal teas, eliminating processed foods, and keeping your blood sugar stable.
- Yeast infection – If you can’t get through the day without sugar or bread or you have had multiple antibiotics or antacids, it could be that you have a yeast infection. A yeast over-population feeds on sugar. This means you crave it more and convert it faster to glucose. This makes the yeast multiply and intensifies your cravings.
If this is the case, cut back on all sugars and caffeine and switch to a low-GI diet. You should also schedule an appointment with your doctor.
- Adrenaline Overload – If you are stressed, have a sore throat, and irritable, especially when hungry, you might be suffering from an overload of adrenaline. Other symptoms you may feel with this condition are dizziness when standing up, increased thirst, and frequent urination.
The adrenal glands produce stress hormones and cortisol when under pressure. When you’re overly stressed, these glands slow down or stop working altogether. That’s when we attempt to feed it with sugar to make it work better.
Enjoy some small, high protein meals such as nuts, cheese, or eggs. These will keep energy levels steady and make it easier to cut down sugar intake.
- Menopause or PMT – If you have reduced sex drive, low moods, and irregular or changing periods, you may be experiencing signs of menopause or PMT.
A week before it starts, you will experience insomnia, headaches, fatigue, and hot flashes. Your estrogen and progesterone levels plummet. At this stage, you will become more prone to insulin resistance, which means your sugar cravings will most probably skyrocket. This could leave you tired and irritable.
These may be some of the answers your question, ‘why am I craving sugar?’
How to Curb Sugar Cravings
Don’t feel bad for wanting sugar. Moderation is the secret to enjoying your favorite sweets. If you’re having too much, however, let’s find some ways to limit it.
These tips will also help you figure out what to eat if you are craving sweets. If you just use some of these things you won’t need to ask ‘why am I craving sugar’ because you won’t be.
Here are some ways on how to control sugar cravings:
- Meditate – It reduces stress and could change your brain patterns, helping you control sugar cravings better.
- Sleep it off – Sleeping recharges you and could reduce your cravings and need for sugar.
- Avoid processed foods – They’re full of artificial sugar and can be addictive.
- Boost your Serotonin – You can do this through exercise, diet, and sleep. The more serotonin in your system, the less likely you will crave sugar.
- Keep your blood sugar level stable – Enjoy small healthy foods throughout the day. This will also keep your blood sugar level steady so you won’t be craving sweets at the end of the day.
- Take Stevia – Stevia is an all-natural sweetener with no calories and doesn’t affect your blood sugar. It is 300 times sweeter than sugar itself.
- Drink lots of water – Enjoy many glasses of water throughout the day. If you want, you can add some lemon or even stevia.
Now you know how to curb your sugar cravings!
Finally, you have an answer to your question ‘why am I craving sugar?’ You know that sugar isn’t the bad guy, but it’s more of how much you indulge in. Be cautious with your sugar intake and enjoy it in small amounts.