Which Type of Sugar Addict Are You? Plus How You Can Make A Change
Okay, let’s be honest about sugar for a moment. Is it okay to occasionally have sugar ? I get this question a lot. The answer is yes, but I have a question too: Is that what we are truly doing in this day and age with the foods we are consuming? Truthfully, no. So I think we are asking the wrong question when it comes to sugar.
The average American consumes about 150 lbs of sugar per year compared to 4 lbs per year about 50 years ago. That is an incredible increase and one we must honestly look at. This is concerning to me, especially for our kids. If breakfast, lunch and dinner are full of hidden sugars and then you have a “special treat” for Monday, Wednesday or on the weekends, are we truly occasionally consuming sugar?
We have to be honest about the sugar we are consuming in our weekly food routines and stop asking if sugar is okay to consume.
I take an honest look at my family and I’s sugar intake once or twice a year. Every time, I find that what I “thought” I was consuming was very different than when I actually consumed. We must take an honest look at our sugar.
A good way to look at making sugar changes is to address your cravings. Today, I give you 4 types of sugar addicts. Which one do you align more with? Continue reading to check out ways to cut your sugar load and supplements and foods that will help curb your sugar cravings and lead you to make healthier choices for your weekly food routines.
4 Types of Sugar Addicts, Which one are you?
The Quick- Hit addict
This type of addict is continually exhausted and has a consistent hit of caffeine and sugar throughout the day. After you reach for the sugary drink, latte or red bull, you feel energized but quickly find yourself needing another hit and more exhausted a few hours late. Life demand’s are exhausting for you. You can not function without borrowing energy from sugar. Your sleep, nutrition and exercise are out of balance or nonexistent and you can’t even see past your daily routine of exhaustion. To make changes seem impossible.
The Hangry Addict
This type of addict has exhausted their adrenal glands and is anxious, jittery, irritable or lightheaded until the sugar fix feeds the need for energy. You walk around like you are in hunger crisis as your blood sugar level rises or falls drastically throughout the day and in between meals. You may also suffer from chronic sore throats or respiratory infections and have difficulty recovering. When you feel burned out, you reach for sugar and often in large amounts. You suffer from hyperglycemia or adrenal fatigue and can’t see pass the need for daily doses of sugar.
The Cupcake Addict
This addict needs a constant dose of sugar fixes throughout the day. From morning until night, this addict is consuming donuts, cookies or other pastries without taking in a nutritious meal. This addict most likely has an overgrowth of Candida Albicans, a type of yeast that grows in our digestive system from fermenting sugars and carbs. This addict is also constantly tired and may suffer from fibromyalgia, IBS or chronic fatigue syndrome. You may also experience gas, bloating or have constant diarrhea or constipation. The sugar craving is triggered by a chemical released from the yeast that convinces people they have no will power over their sugar consumption.
The Depressed Addict
Hormones are a major part of your body’s communication and control system. If you have a deficiency of your endocrine hormones: progesterone, testosterone or estrogen, you will likely crave sugar. This addict reaches for sugar for emotional comfort or to satisfy a lack of joy. Your body will crave sugar to raise dopamine levels. Did you know that in most foods that produce dopamine (emotional happy boost Neurotransmitter) it will decrease with more consumption but in sugar, the dopamine level produced never reduces? Although eating something sweet for these addicts will initially help them feel better, it will lead to long term exacerbation of symptoms that could lead to illness and disease.
3 Ways to Be Intentional about cutting sugar
Once you have identified which sugar addict you are, it is important to make changes slow and steady. Reducing sugar will naturally cause your body to feel worse before it feels better, but if you will give it 4 days, you will find a significant difference in your overall feeling. When making your changes, you want to seek help from your health coach or health professional so that the changes fit for your individual body needs.
1. Reduce sugar and increase Fat
Look at your snacks and drinks and make changes there first. Choose fat and protein to replace the sugar-carb snack or drink and feed your body the energy it needs. Cut out the sodas and alcohol and substitute for green lemonade, flavored mineral water and Kombucha. A full fat latte or these snack and breakfast ideas can help you get started as well.
2. Read the ingredients not labels
Sugar is hidden in almost every packaged food item, condiments and low-fat foods. Read the ingredients on your packaged foods. Sugar replace many ingredients in processed and packed foods. See all the secret words for sugar here.
3. Look beyond the sugar
Sugar itself will turn into glucose (fast fueling energy) in the body but did you know that carbohydrates can also do the same thing? If you want to know how many teaspoons of sugar you will be consuming in a serving, take the number of fiber contents and subtract it from the carbohydrates, then divide it by 5. This is how many teaspoons of sugar this one serving actually contains in regards to how your body will process it. Add this to your sugar teaspoons from the sugar grams by dividing the sugar grams by 4. These two calculations will give you the amount of sugar teaspoons you are getting in one serving. It is important that you do not consume more than 6 teaspoons of sugar on a daily basis.
Supplements and Foods to help you adjust your sugar cravings
Below are some supplements and foods to help make the transition easier and help address the root problems to the sugar addictions.
The Quick-Hit Addict
If Vitamin D levels are low, it will be difficult to have appetite control. This is important especially if you are not getting regular sun exposure. Omega-3 fats found in fish, coconut and olive oils, real butter and avocados will help your brain function better, reduce inflammation and lead you to better glucose control. If your body has the right fats, it will not crave the quick energy from sugar. Magnesium and a complete B vitamin source helps your muscles and body as a whole produce more energy. It will also support your immune system, nerve and brain function. Ribose is a key building block to stimulate energy recovery. Unlike sugar, ribose does not raise blood glucose or feed yeast overgrowth. You can get Vit D from the sun or supplement, omega-3 oils from foods, magnesium and B vitamins from a good multivitamin and ribose can be taken as a supplement. (5 grams mixed in water 1-2 times a day) ThorneResearch is a great brand for high quality supplements. Take doses as directed on label or by health professional.
The Hangry Addict
Vitamin C is plays a leading role for optimizing the function of your adrenal stress handler gland. Your body’s highest levels of Vitamin C are found in your brain tissues and adrenal glands. Pantothenic Acid and Alpha Lipoic Acid helps to balance the production of the stress hormone cortisol and convert glucose into energy. Tyrosine helps to make adrenaline in the body. It also functions to make thyroid hormones and the neurotransmitter dopamine in the body and can aid in reducing sugar cravings. Glutathione is an immune necessity and helps stabilize good sugar which will decrease sugar cravings. Chromium can aid in balancing blood sugars as well. Berries, spinach, garlic, grapefruit, avocados, and dark leafy greens and bone broth are key to get these vital nutrients.
The Cupcake Addict
A chronic yeast overgrowth in the digestive tract can take months to get under control. It is important to see a health professional that will measure your yeast in a blood test and help you with a strategic plan. Probiotics are key in helping balance the overgrowth. Zinc, omega-3 fats and vitamin D are also key ingredients in getting rid of yeast and optimizing your immune function. Enzymes are important to help breakdown sugars and carbohydrates as well. Anti-fungals can play a role, but it is important to let a health professional guide you so that you can kill off some of the yeast without completely dismantling the terrain of your system. Key foods to help fight against candida overgrowth are garlic, green veggies, quality fats, bone broth and herbs.
The Depressed Addict
Theanine helps to stimulate your body’s production of GABA and release of serotonin and dopamine with can aid in mood function. Increasing magnesium can help improve sleep which can aid in more energy throughout the day. Vitamin B complex, omega-3 fats, vitamin D and COQ10 are vital for cellular energy and helping with general depression. Chromium can also help balance blood sugars which aid in hormone production. Essential oils can be used to help in hormonal balance like clary sage, thyme and ylang ylang. Increasing joy in your life and hebrew type meditation can also bring about hope and healing for a weary soul. Foods to include would be berries, broccoli, beef, fish, bone broth and nuts and seeds.
Looking to make simple nutritional or lifestyle changes? Contact me today for a free health consultation to discover which health coaching program is right for you!