Food Cravings Part 2 - Sweet Tooth

Here we go again, it’s 3 o’clock and you’ve got this strong desire to have a sweet treat, be it a chocolate bar, biscuit, soft drink or just a little something sweet from the snack box. 

By the time we get home we’re ravenous and as we’re cooking dinner we might start snacking on cheese or whatever’s in the pantry. An hour or so after dinner we need a little sweet treat, perhaps some dessert or a biscuit with a cup of tea. 

Does this sound like you?

A sweet tooth is a hard habit to break as it can come from a few different sources:

  • Feeding the emotions: 

Sugar produces a rush of ‘feel good’ hormones to the brain which is often what we want when we’re feeling sad or angry. The downside is that after the effects have worn off, we feel the original emotion again, thus continuing the pattern. To work through a sweet tooth may require a bit of soul searching and honesty with your emotions, and talking to people who can help you deal with the underlying emotion.

  • Feeding the nasties in our gut: 

Sugar is the main food for parasites and yeasts in the gut. The most common one you may have heard of is Candida. This yeast actually releases toxins into the blood which make you feel like eating sugar. It’s their way of saying ‘feed me!’ Usually we give in to it, and later on, they ask you to feed them again. A parasite cleanse, and Candida diet can help to eliminate this overpopulation of candida, talk to a me about how to do this properly. Interestingly when Candida start to die off, they release even more toxins which give you the same symptoms as when you had a sweet tooth, but be vigilant, because this too shall pass.

  • Low blood sugars: 

Sugar cravings through the day can typically be traced right back to what you had for breakfast. High carbohydrate breakfasts with very little protein or healthy fats spike insulin levels, which then leads to a drop later on in the morning. Reaching for an apple won’t help, as the sugars on their own will spike insulin again....leaving it to drop again. Insulin clears glucose from the blood, so once it’s job blood glucose ‘feels’ low and this is when we start craving sweet foods. By balancing carbohydrate foods with fibre, healthy fats and proteins we keep insulin and glucose even and reduce cravings.  It's a huge misconception that you use sugars to raise or regulate blood sugar, this couldn't be further from the truth.  You need a healthy, balanced diet to regulate blood glucose AND a look at internal body chemistry if things are really messed up.

The effects of a ‘sugar habit’ can be quite overwhelming, and if we’re suffering a lot of symptoms we may not notice others. A lot of research has been done into the area of the gut and its effects on the brain, Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride has found that diminished levels of healthy gut flora affects mental health in particular autism, ADHD, depression and other similar illnesses. High levels of candida which overrun good flora are also responsible for mood problems. High sugary/refined carb intake also cause acne. The up and down in glucose levels can have a negative effect on the function of the pancreas, and the ups and downs also certainly contribute to our energy levels and levels of fatigue. High sugar intake is also linked to high cholesterol.  

A craving is an intense desire, usually one which we just can’t put to the back of our minds, it is different to physical hunger. Some people and women's magazines will say that we ‘crave’ what our body needs.  This is bullshit.  We actually tend to crave what we are addicted to (usually needing a serotonin or dopamine boost) or intolerant to.  We also crave when the body is malnourished in general, and that sugar craving is not telling you that you are malnourished in sugar, you hear me!

If you find yourself with very strong cravings for things like sweets, bread, cakes, soft drinks, sugary coffee or tea or even a strong craving for healthy sweets like yoghurt or fruit chances are you have a sweet tooth. This may cause you no problems at all, but if it does then it’s important to identify the cause and take steps to working through freeing yourself from it.