It might taste sweet, but when it comes to health, sugar is more naughty than nice.
The sweet stuff is one of the culprits responsible for signs of aging, thanks to glycation, a process that occurs when sugar is transformed into blood glucose for energy. In the bloodstream, sugar molecules attach to proteins, creating dangerous molecules called advanced glycation end products, known as AGEs. The more sugar we eat, the more AGEs are formed. Most vulnerable are the skin proteins collagen and elastin, which keeps skin looking firm, elastic and vibrant.
In addition to glycation, sugar triggers cravings because the release of blood glucose stimulates the production of the hormone insulin, which helps diverse glucose from the blood stream to cells, where it is stored for use as energy. Too much glucose leads to the overproduction of insulin, causing cells to press the mute button, reducing available energy stores.
Given the dangers associated with sugar consumption, it should come as no surprise that more people are looking to keep sugar cravings at bay.
Tips for Quelling Sugar Cravings:
- Erase processed foods. The keto diet relies on whole foods rather than processed foods, which are often spiked with hidden sugar. When sugar isn’t necessary for energy, cravings subside
- Eat frequent snacks. Consuming a small meal every three hours – lean meats, avocado and nutrient-dense foods such as greens, for example – can keep you feeling full, which can quiet cravings.
- Keep serotonin levels high. Sugar cravings are triggered by the rise and fall of serotonin levels. Exercise, spending time in the sunlight, getting plenty of sleep, and eating a nutrient-rich diet helps keep serotonin levels naturally high, which reduces sugar cravings.
- Drink lots of water. Dehydration can cause dips in energy, leading to sugar cravings.