Sugar, or carbohydrate, is a primary source of energy. Owing to an increase in cases of type 2 diabetes, people fret at the very idea of consuming sugar. Yet, most foods you consume, especially those that are processed, are invariably high in sugar. We’re going to help you gain a better understanding of the human body, how sugar works, and what exactly is harmful and healthy for your body.
Before we discuss how you can improve your sugar cravings, let’s review what happens in our body when we consume sugar.
Sugar is present in most food, including vegetables and fruits. The human body metabolizes sugar for energy. When you consume food, the stomach digests it (breaks it down) and releases the nutrients, which are then distributed through the blood to the rest of the body. The liver stores the unused nutrients, while the blood carries the sugar and other nutrients to different parts of the body including the vital organs and muscles. The cells in the body absorb the nutrients they need and the rest remain in the bloodstream. The liver will store essential nutrients for future use, but there is a limit to how much the liver can hold. The remaining nutrients will be stored in the bloodstream, including sugar.
The process of sugar absorption by the cells is facilitated by insulin, which is a hormone secreted by the pancreas. Insulin triggers the cells to open up and extract the sugar from the blood. When you have excessive sugar in your blood (more than your cells can absorb), you’re said to have high blood glucose levels. If the amount of insulin produced is not enough for the absorption of the sugar by the bloodstream, this will also lead to high blood glucose. This is what can lead to type 2 diabetes. By consuming too much sugar, we exhaust our ability to regulate blood sugar with insulin (and another hormone glucagon), which is essentially type 2 diabetes.
The body requires sugar for energy. When you don’t provide your body with the energy it needs, it results in sugar cravings. If you are addicted to certain forms of sugar, for instance the sugar in processed foods, then your body will crave them when you start to deprive it, particularly when you’re tired, and when your blood should is low. The trick to having a healthy blood sugar level lies in ensuring that you don’t provide more sugar to your body than it needs or can metabolize. In order to do this, you should consume healthy forms of sugar and carbohydrates, such as those with low glycemic indexes, and high fibre.
Steps To Improve Sugar Cravings in 24 hours
Don’t consume processed sugar
Instead of consuming processed sugar, opt for healthy complex carbohydrates.
Things to avoid: Processed cereals with added sugar or artificial sugar, breads made with white flour, and fast food.
Things to include: vegetables, fruit, oats, wholegrain bread, and naturally made dairy products (unsweetened).
Making this change will have a bearing on the secretion of insulin. Reducing high influxes of sugar will help ensure that insulin is secreted moderately. When this happens, all the sugar in your blood will get absorbed into your cells, and any amount leftover will be temporarily stored in your liver until the body needs a burst of energy a few hours after your meal.
Don’t consume artificial sugar or “sugar-free” products
When you try to mimic the effects of natural sugar, you are actually tricking your system. Sugar-free products actually harm your body because they increase sugar cravings. Imagine you drink a sugar-free soda and you feel the sweet taste, but your body doesn’t get the sugar it expects. Sensing sugar, the pancreas releases insulin, which then tries to facilitate absorption of sugar by the cells. However, it fails as there is no sugar for the cells to absorb. As a result, you want more sugar. This type of sugar craving is facilitated entirely by artificial sugar, sweeteners, or other sugar free products.
Reduce Sugar Intake
The human body has a tendency to store unused calories, as fat. This fat is first stored in liver and then the additional fat leads to the formation of adipose tissues. Sugar stored in adipose tissues are not as readily available as energy from the sugar you consume in food. Hence, you still crave sugar despite having enough of it stored in fatty tissues. Exercising can help, when you work out, you burn body fat and that releases the energy your body needs. In the process, you would have enough sugar and other nutrients for the cells to absorb without consuming any sugar. This will certainly reduce your sugar cravings.