According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity rates are skyrocketing among adults and children alike.
And while it’s true that diet and exercise play a role in weight management, experts say that too much sugar can lead to health problems like diabetes and heart disease.
In fact, the American Heart Association warns that eating too many sweets can increase blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Sugar spikes insulin secretion, which leads to high blood glucose, and causes a spike in triglycerides — fats found in fat cells.
High triglyceride levels contribute to cardiovascular disease. In addition, excessive consumption of added sugars increases belly fat and makes you hungrier, which can lead to overeating.
So what do we eat when we want something sweet? Experts suggest choosing foods low in sugar, such as fruits and vegetables. They recommend cutting down on sugary drinks like soda and juice, and limiting intake of candy bars, cookies and cakes.
You can also try using artificial sweeteners, which don’t cause the same insulin response as real sugar does.
In addition to the above there are certain supplements that can help curb those bothersome cravings. Let’s consider a few of them.
Magnesium is one of those minerals that plays many roles in our bodies. It helps regulate blood pressure, control muscle contractions, and maintain healthy bones and teeth.
It also regulates several hormones including testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, adrenaline, and thyroid hormone. It also plays a role in controlling sugar cravings.
While there are some foods rich in magnesium like leafy greens, nuts, beans, whole grains, and fish, most people eat too few of them. A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that Americans consume less than half of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium.
According to the National Institutes of Health, magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and is present in every cell. Most adults are deficient in magnesium, and studies show that men are even worse off than women.
This is why it is recommended to get between 400-420 mg of magnesium each day.
The term B-complex refers specifically to a group of 8 different B vitamins (see also “The Best Vitamins To Improve Your Sense of Smell And Taste“) that are essential for overall health and wellness. These nutrients work together to support many functions within the human body, including metabolism, nerve function, and brain health.
They also play a role in helping our bodies process foods efficiently.
Together, these vitamins help reduce sugar cravings. In addition, they help regulate blood sugar levels, making it easier to avoid those pesky sugar highs and lows.
Doctors often recommend taking chromium supplements to help regulate blood sugar levels. They say it helps keep blood sugar levels steady throughout the day and night. But what exactly does chromium do?
Here are some facts about chromium, including how much you might want to consider taking each day.
Chromium is one of several minerals that play a role in regulating blood sugar levels. Your body needs chromium to break down carbohydrates into glucose, which fuels energy production and brain function.
If you don’t eat enough carbs, your body gets low on chromium and starts breaking down protein for fuel.
When your blood sugar drops too low, your pancreas stops producing insulin, which normally keeps your blood sugar level stable. As a result, your blood sugar begins to rise again.
The American Diabetes Association recommends adults consume 20 micrograms of chromium per day. For those with diabetes, doctors typically prescribe 50 mcg of chromium three times daily.
Gymnema Sylvestre, derived from plant molecules, is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat diabetes, high cholesterol, and liver disease.
L-glutamine is a naturally occurring amino acid that helps to support muscle growth, maintain healthy skin, and promote overall health. A study published in Nutrients showed that L-glutamine helped people feel fuller longer while reducing sugar cravings.
Researchers compared three groups. One group took 500 mg of L-glutamine twice daily; another took 500 mg of L -glutamine plus 50 grams of sucrose; and the third group took placebo pills.
After four weeks, participants taking both supplements reported feeling significantly less hungry and had lower levels of ghrelin, a hormone associated with hunger.
White Mulberry Leaf
White mulberry leaf contains a compound called deoxynojirimycin. A study conducted in Japan found that people who took white mulberry leaf extract had lower blood sugar levels than those taking placebo pills.
Another study showed that patients with type 2 diabetes who took white mulberry extract experienced less frequent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). In fact, one patient reported no episodes of low blood sugar while taking white mulberry extract.
The active ingredient in mulberry, deoxynojirimycin, is an alpha glucosidase inhibitor. Alpha glucosidase inhibitors interfere with the digestion of carbohydrates.
They slow down the breakdown of sugars in our intestines so that they are absorbed into the bloodstream more gradually. As a result, we experience lower blood sugar levels.
This helps the body keep blood glucose levels within a normal range.
Mineral imbalances in the human body can lead to sugar cravings. The good news is that there are many ways to boost your intake of essential nutrients like zinc. One way is by taking a daily zinc supplement. Studies show that zinc deficiency can contribute to sugar cravings.
Zinc is involved in several important metabolic processes. For example, it helps regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, which play key roles in controlling appetite. This mineral also plays a role in maintaining healthy skin, hair, nails, and mucous membranes.
According to WebMD, zinc deficiency can lead to fatigue, loss of energy, depression, irritability, weight gain, poor digestion, and dry skin. So, if you’re feeling tired and out of sorts, consider adding some zinc to your diet.
You can find zinc in prawns, pumpkin seeds and almonds. If you’d rather avoid eating seafood, try sprinkling a little pumpkin seed powder over your oatmeal or cereal each morning. And eat plenty of nuts and dried fruits.
They are both high in fiber and contain lots of vitamin E, folate, iron, copper, manganese, selenium, and phosphorus.
Other Ways To Help Cravings
When we are hungry, our ability to think clearly goes down the drain. We often find ourselves making poor decisions, such as choosing unhealthy foods or eating too much. And sometimes, those poor decisions lead us to overeat even more.
However, there is hope! Research suggests that having a plan ahead of time could help prevent impulsive decisions that lead to overindulging—and even better, you’ll likely eat healthier overall.
In one study, researchers asked participants to write about three different situations where they had been hungry. They found that people who wrote about their plans ate less junk food during the experiment.
Another study showed that people who planned out what they wanted to eat were able to resist temptation and choose healthier options.
So next time you’re feeling hungry, take some time to consider what you’d like to eat, how many calories you want to consume, and whether you’d prefer something sweet or salty. By doing so, you might just improve your health and save yourself money.
If you find yourself getting hungry during the day, it might just be because you are bored or feeling sluggish. When you are in a state of low energy, your brain sends signals to your stomach telling it to start eating.
If you do nothing about this signal, you’ll likely end up snacking throughout the afternoon.
Before reaching for a snack that won’t satisfy your hunger, try distracting yourself from the urge. You could take a walk, check out some photos on Instagram, read something online, or even play a game on your phone.
When you’re looking for a burst of energy, get your body moving by doing jumping jacks or dancing around the room for a while. This will help increase your heart rate and give you a quick shot of adrenaline taking your mind off your craving.
Drink More Water
When you’re dehydrating, your body has a tough time creating glycogen, meaning it doesn’t have enough energy to do things like cook food or produce insulin. Without enough glycogen, you’ll find yourself reaching for a sugary treat because it gives you a quick burst of energy.
If you’re trying to control your sugar cravings Just keep a bottle of water next to your desk, and every time you take a sip, write down the number of ounces you’ve consumed. You’ll soon notice that your daily total adds up to about 8 cups the amount experts recommend each day.
Get Good Sleep
While you’re sleeping your body balances out your blood sugar levels and keeps the hormone levels in check. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body doesn’t properly process glucose into energy, which leads to high blood sugar levels throughout the day.
This causes you to feel tired and hungry, leading to increased food consumption.
If you’re struggling with constant sugar cravings, try tracking your sleep habits. Start keeping a sleep journal and record how much sleep you get every night, as well as whether you wake up in the middle of the night.
If you find you’re not getting good quality sleep try adding in some relaxation to your nighttime routine.