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Diets and Cleanses

The sheer number of diets and cleanses promoted in the market can be quite confusing. Here's what you need to know.

What can replace the craving for sweets, like candy and brownies?

Marina de la Torre (Brooklyn, NY) on Aug 10, 2012
Let's start by understanding why we crave things in general. Our bodies are like a supercomputer that can perfectly control everything from sleeping, breathing, and pregnancy to maintaining a temperature of 98.6 degrees. When we experience cravings, our bodies are sending us messages meant to assisting us in maintaining homeostasis. In order to understand cravings we need to look at the underlying causes: the foods, deficits and behaviors in our lives. Main causes for cravings are: - Being unhappy with a relationship, having the wrong exercise routine, being bored, or stressed - Dehydration - Seasons (e.g. in spring our bodies crave detoxifying foods like leafy greens) - Inadequate nutrients (e.g. mineral imbalance) - Hormones (e.g. menstruation, pregnancy, menopause) Tips for dealing with cravings for sweets: - Drink water! (not soft drinks). Sweet cravings are often a sign of dehydration. - Eat sweet vegetables and fruits. - Reduce (or eliminate) caffeine: it causes dehydration and blood sugar swings. - Perform some physical activity - Avoid fat-free and low-fat packaged foods (to compensate for lack of flavor and fat, these products are loaded with sugarsk which causes blood sugar swings) - Get a hug, hang out with friends, get a massage. In other words, add non-food sweetness into your life.
Lisa Stollman (Huntington, NY) on Aug 10, 2012
Easy answer: eat more fruit. Start breakfast with a serving of fresh fruit. At lunch and dinner enjoy fresh fruit at the end of your meal. Also, eat whole grains instead of white refined grains. The whole grains will keep you full longer and your blood glucose stable, which should help decrease your cravings.
Shantih Coro (Hallandale Beach, FL) on Aug 10, 2012
Sugar cravings can occur with a lack of animal fat in the diet, so if you are eating low-fat food or avoiding animal fats, that might be a cause. You might also crave sugars because your sugar levels drop, which can happen if you go a long time without eating, follow a restricted calories diet or consume too much refined carbohydrates and sugars, such as packaged foods, breakfast cereals, fruit juices concentrates, sodas, and white bread. When you consume too much carbohydrates and sugars, your sugar levels increase and you might feel energized, When they drop the pancreas have to produce insulin, which leaves you with lowered energy and craving for more sugars. This is a vicious cycle which can lead to insulin resistance and weight gain, along with many health problems in the long run. I suggest you consult an experienced nutritionist trained in functional medicine. You can also call our office and we will be glad to help you, educate you and guide you.
Lauren Slayton (New York, NY) on Aug 10, 2012
Cravings for sugar are fueled by the consumption of sugar. The more sugar you consume, the more you will crave. That being said, you are better off eating foods that are naturally sweet to quench a sugar craving and skipping artificial sweeteners, which further increase cravings. Fruit, dark chocolate and tea with a touch of honey or agave are healthy ways to satisfy a sweet tooth.