It is quite common to crave for sugary items or snacks when you are feeling depressed or sad. However, high refined sugar intake has also been associated with increased incidence of depression. Nowadays, all processed foods like cookies, sodas, and ketchup contain sugar but it is extremely unhealthy to consume because it lacks essential micronutrients, is highly addictive and can adversely affect your health. Foods high in sugar are linked to provide fleeting high energy levels, however, increased amounts of sugar in diet can increase the risk of heart attack, cancer, liver disease, type II diabetes mellitus, cellular oxidative stress, ageing and skin problems.
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Here are some tips to prevent sugar cravings and stay healthy:
- Maintain sleep schedule
Your sleeping schedule also plays a crucial role in dealing with your sugar cravings along with your diet. Sleep deprivation increases the production of ghrelin (hunger hormones). Thus, if you have a habit of staying awake till late at night, you tend to crave more carbs and sugary snacks. Therefore, it is important to get at least seven-eight hours of sound sleep to reduce sugar cravings and stay healthy.
- Avoid Sugary Candies
Chewing on a handful of sugar-free gums is far better than munching on some sugar-loaded candies. Have more sugar-free foods that you won’t regret later. Keep some sugar-free candies or chewing gums handy or in your bag to rescue whenever you crave something sweet. This will trick your mind into thinking that its sweet cravings are satisfied.
- Stay hydrated
Drinking enough water to keep you hydrated is beneficial for your overall health. Dehydration in the body can cause you irritation, confusion and immediately increase your sweet cravings. Water helps to promote the healthy functioning of your body by flushing out harmful toxins and maintaining the body’s core temperature. It is advised to consume two-three liters of water daily as per your BMI.
- Balanced Meals
Balance your meals and snacks by adding healthy fats and protein like eggs, beans, nuts, seeds, and peanut butter because simple carbohydrate-rich foods like pasta, and crackers which are broken down into sugar by our body. Whereas, healthy fats and proteins keep you full for a longer time.
- Avoid stress
Stress is known to activate your sugar cravings and impact your overall health. Having sweet snacks makes our brains release dopamine, a hormone associated with feelings of pleasure and satisfaction, thus sugar lowers the stress response in human brains. Therefore, it’s important to eliminate your stress through healthy ways and reduce your sugar cravings.