Let's face it: Most of us are addicted to sugar. But, it's not entirely our fault.
Everything from processed meat, to peanut butter and canned fruit has added sugar. If you don't check the labels, you would never know how much sugar you are actually eating, how much of it is natural and how much you should actually be consuming daily.
Most people don't read labels, and the people who do can be confused easily. This is not a mistake. Manufacturers who are backed by the government have tried to mislead the public about information on labels because they want us to keep buying their food. Their greed is making them billions, while health rates are continuing to decline.
Thanks to Michelle Obama, our nutrition labels are finally getting a makeover. The new nutrition facts labels will appear on billions of packages in the next couple years, and the FDA will require food companies to list how much sugar they add and suggest a limit for how much added sugar people should consume daily.
This is a big win for everyone, and it will help drastically in the effort for individuals to eradicate their consumption of sugar completely.
So, how can this be done exactly? We all know that cooking your own food is the best way to know exactly what ingredients you are consuming, but really, who has time for that?
Here are some easier tips:
1. Stop drinking diet sodas.
If you haven't heard it before, diet sodas contain scary chemicals and artificial sweeteners that may cause everything from organ failure to cancer. The chemicals have also been proven to activate our cravings for sugar even more.
Ever drink a diet soda and then reach for the chocolate or donuts? The toxins in diet sodas cause scary reactions in our brain that make us want sugar. If you're a soda junkie, try finding a natural alternative like Zevia, which has zero calories and is all-natural.
2. Eat more protein or healthy fat.
Those healthy protein smoothies that everyone is drinking nowadays actually calm sugar cravings by controlling blood sugar levels. Next time you want to eat a sandwich for lunch, try opting for some nuts, grilled meat or whole foods in their natural state, like vegetables or fruit. You'll be surprised at how much this relieves your need for sugar.
3. Drink more water.
Doctors recommend this, but it's true. Sometimes we don't realize we actually aren't hungry, but we're dehydrated. This leads to excessive snacking, without being satisfied.
Next time you're craving that extra bag of chips, drink a large glass of water. Wait 10 minutes, and rethink your decision. If you are still hungry, your cravings should switch to wanting real food, not snacks. You will be more likely to reach for the healthy choice at that point.
4. Take a multivitamin.
If you're over 25, you should have your doctor do a blood test to see if you are deficient in any vitamins or minerals. You may have no symptoms and not even know you are deficient.
Almost everyone can use more of a certain nutrient, and if you are in need, your sugar cravings can be out of whack. Many nutrients improve blood sugar control.
5. Get more sleep.
Sleep resets your body and puts your cravings in check. Even one extra hour a night can make a big difference. If you don't know the power of sleep, there are many resources to inform you.
Arianna Huffington's book, "The Sleep Revolution," will change your mind about going out to the bar this weekend, and you'll have a new found love affair with your bed.