Sugar consumption has exploded in recent years and currently reaches 35 kg per year per person among the French. The phenomenon of sugar addiction is very present in France, however, one of the major problems is that it is everywhere, in processed, even ultra-processed, products and that sometimes its taste is even hidden. Reducing your sugar intake is not easy and many of us experience sweet cravings that are difficult to resist. Here are some tips to reduce these cravings and limit excesses:
How to reduce sugar on a daily basis?
Eat foods with medium or low GI
When you eat a very sweet product, its glyceric index (GI) is very high. The sudden rise in blood sugar causes insulin to be released into the bloodstream, lowering glucose levels. If this level drops suddenly, hypoglycemia can occur only a few hours after eating. The symptoms observed can be sudden fatigue , a headache, anxiety, sweating, and a desire to eat sugar... this is the famous 11 o'clock rush. To avoid this, it is advisable to eat foods with medium or low GI. Generally speaking, we therefore forget the continental type breakfast which only includes very sweet foods: pastries, fruit juices, refined cereals, cakes of all kinds, jam, white bread. We focus on good fat, proteins, unrefined products: sheep's or goat's cheese, ham, oilseed puree, boiled eggs, wholemeal or cereal breads. If you're still used to something sweet for breakfast, you can opt for homemade porridge or muesli with whole grains, coconut sugar, vegetable milk without added sugar and/or fruit. For the rest of the day, we favor whole foods (whole-grain pasta or rice). If you are not used to this type of food, start with semi-complete.
Increase serotonin levels
It is also called “happiness hormone ”. A deficiency of this neurotransmitter can cause sugar cravings. For serotonin to be synthesized, an amino acid is needed: tryptophan . Foods rich in tryptophan are eggs, bananas, dark chocolate (at 70% minimum it is a superfood ). And don't forget B vitamins , essential for the formation of neurotransmitters. This is why a quality sweet break is ideal. The ideal time for the body is around 5 p.m. This will reduce your sweet cravings in the evening and your sugar addiction.
Avoid “zero or sugar-free” products
They often contain sweeteners. The brain receives the message that a sweet food is coming (because of the sweet flavors your taste buds experience), but this is a decoy since the food in question contains a sweetener. Since the body has not received sugar, the desire to consume it is still present and will generate sweet cravings throughout the day. In addition, aspartame, the taste of which can be confused, is often used in this type of product and can be dangerous for your health.
Reduce the amount of sugar in your recipes
Try 10 or 20 grams at first, you will hardly notice anything. Gradually, you will be able to reduce the quantities a little more and you will get used to eating less sweets. Oligotherapy is a good tool for regulating sweet cravings, particularly chromium.
In summary, try to eat less sugar in the morning, have a snack at 5 p.m. with healthy foods (fruit, dried fruit, homemade pastry or cake with wholemeal flours and sugars), choose a low or moderate GI diet. which will give you a feeling of satiety, and replace soda with kombucha which has many benefits. Be careful, the little candies from time to time cannot harm you, we reassure you :)