Ask Dr. Kim - March 2017

Dear Dr.Kim

I have a sweet tooth. Do you have any suggestions to help me stop craving sugar?

G.J. Victoria

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Dear G.J.

Sugar over-consumption and cravings are a challenge for many people. In part, people get busy and miss being mindful about their nutrition. Instead of focusing on nutrient dense calories that pack a helpful punch, they rely on processed snacks and fast food to get them through the day. Sugar is added to many convenience foods and becomes incorporated into people’s everyday food choices from muffins and lattes to peanut butter and ketchup. Further, palates have shifted so that people are less familiar or satisfied by the flavour of whole foods and herbs. To quote one of my past teachers, “the healthier you are, then the better plain food tastes.”

Why is too much sugar too much of a bad thing? To keep it simple, sugar weakens immunity, contributes to fat accumulation, encourages inflammation and fuels digestive problems. Why do people crave sugar? Some common reasons: an imbalance in nutrition and/or life, sugar meets an emotional need, and/or energy is low so they are looking for a pick me up. 

Here are 5 Strategies to Kick Sugar Cravings:

 

  1. Make sure to start your day with a whole some, well-balanced, nutrient dense breakfast. Your breakfast should include some carbohydrate such as fruits, vegetables and/or whole grains and some protein such as nuts, seeds, and egg or lean meat. Getting a solid start helps keep energy and blood sugar balanced so that you are less prone to crave sugar. Oats and quinoa (the later not a ‘true grain’) are grains with the highest amount of protein.
  2. Eat frequent, balanced meals and snacks throughout the day. Prepare snacks to have with you so they are handy and can carry you through your day. For the same reason that it is important to have a healthy breakfast, eating frequently keeps your system in better harmony by supplying a steady stream of fuel. Pulsing your nutrition through the day helps to make sure that your blood sugar doesn’t take a nose dive leaving sugar craving lurking.
  3. Ensure you are getting your vitamins and minerals. Many times nutrient deficiencies such as deficient magnesium, B vitamins, and iron bring on sugar cravings. When you are well nourished (physically and emotionally) the sugar cravings (including chocolate cravings) are less prevalent (or absent). You can think of your cravings as a barometer for “how you are doing.”
  4. Get your rest. The better rested and rejuvenated you are then the better your energy and emotional well-being. As you increase balance and vitality, your cravings will dissipate. Develop a nighttime routine that has you winding down and in bed so you can fall into a slumber and wake refreshed.
  5. Do a cleanse. Cleanses that incorporate healthy eating with nutrients that kill down Candida and rebalance gut flora can be a good way to set the stage for a lifestyle shift and health improvement.  There are many different cleanses available and your trusted healthcare practitioner can help you select one best suited to your circumstances.

I hope my suggestion help you to crush the cravings.

“Health from the inside out.”

Dr. Kim McQueenDr. Kimberly McQueen BSc, ND is a Naturopathic Physician in Victoria, BC. In addition to her clinic work she has been a consultant to the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence, Camosun College, Rugby Canada and Rowing Canada. P: 778.433.4935 and www.kimmcqueen.com. Kim McQueen is one of the Co-founders of the nourishing Supershake, Rumble. See www.drinkrumble.com