Busting through sugar cravings is a big issue for families. Sometimes a sugar craving looks like tantrums when the candy is withheld, sometimes it looks like clandestine visits to the sugar bowl or maple syrup jug, sometimes it looks like a picky eater who will only eat carbohydrates like bread and pasta.
We know at this point that sugar causes all kinds of health problems ranging from diabetes to heart disease, we know that sugar has an adverse impact on the gut microbiome which is a key player in our mental wellness, and we know that we generally eat too much sugar and that most of us do better on a diet that is lower in sugar.
This post is not going to explain why that is; this post is for those of you who know sugar needs to go, but are have trouble breaking the addiction and kicking it to the curb.
Ok... so let's talk strategy.
When it comes to breaking a sugar addiction, it helps to think about what is driving the addiction in the first place. Addictions don't come out of thin air... they move in to fill a gap. So what's the gap it's filling in your case?
So the first thing to understand is that breaking a sugar addiction has little to nothing to do with willpower. There is something causing the craving and the question to ponder is: why am I (or my child) craving sugar? Look for patterns.
1. Stimulate the same feel-good hormones as sugar, using nutritious foods instead.
2. Eat for better blood sugar stability
3. Try amino acids
The RDA for added sugar is currently 9 tsp for men (36g) and 6 tsp for women (24g). Half that for children. Start to pay attention to food labels to see how much you're taking in in a day. You'll likely be shocked!
It's time to kick it to the curb!
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Jess is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist™ and Family Health Expert, specializing in brain health & resilience for kids. She is the author of Raising Resilience: Take the stress out of feeding your family & love your life, a mother and an advocate for children’s health. Her book and online resources have helped families all over the world improve the lives of their children with learning differences, anxiety, ADHD, autism and mood disorders by fitting the food and feeding piece into their health puzzles. She is the 2019 recipient of the CSNNAA award for Clinical Excellence for her work helping families get healthier, and she continues to work at bringing an understanding of the power of good nutrition to the mainstream conversation about children’s mental health, learning, and overall resilience through her blog, courses and as a contributor to print and online magazines. You can reach Jess at www.jesssherman.com
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