I know excess sugar is bad for me, but I still crave sweets.
Q. Hello Terry, “I visit your website and listen to your radio shows as often as possible. Unfortunately, I still cannot overcome my “sweet tooth”. I know excess sugar is bad for me, but I still crave sweets. What advice do you have?” — Caroline D., Seattle, WA
A. Dear Caroline, Sugar is one of the most irritating substances to our body when consumed in excess. Unfortunately, sugar is also very addictive, leaving us with temporary satisfaction, until our next craving kicks in. As you may know, I follow a ketogenic diet, so the majority of sweets are out of the picture. However, the ketogenic diet does allow for healthy snacks that can satisfy just about any sweet tooth. My favorite “dessert” is a recipe that I borrowed from Mary Budinger, a certified nutritional therapist and Emmy-award winning journalist.
Mary’s Nut Butter Fat Bomb Recipe:
½ cup almond butter
½ cup coconut oil
2 Tbsp of cacao powder
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp of salt (or to taste)
Mix everything in a pot over low heat. Once melted and combined, pour into ice cube trays. Place trays in the freezer for 20 minutes. Pop out the fat bombs and store in a baggie in the freezer.
In addition to the fat bombs, I also think there are some natural ingredients that can help with your cravings. I think it’s important to include fiber in your daily plan. Fiber helps to fill you up, and is found in many healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. Also, fiber helps to keep your blood sugar stable, preventing the highs and lows that can trigger cravings and overeating. In addition to the dietary forms of fiber, I recommend a clinically studied form of concentrated plant fiber that has been shown to help people lose weight. In just 3 months, with no dietary restrictions, people taking the concentrated fiber lost up to 7 times the weight of those in the placebo group, who actually gained on average half of a pound. People in the fiber group also saw significant reductions in their A1C (a measure of blood sugar over a period of time), BMI (Body Mass Index), body fat, visceral fat (the dangerous kind of fat that accumulates around organs in the torso), and waist, hip, and upper abdominal circumference.
Another important ingredient is grape seed extract. A pilot clinical study found that grape seed extract reduced blood sugar levels after a high-carbohydrate meal. The OPCs (oligomeric proanthocyanidins) in grape seed can help stop the sugar spikes that affect insulin levels, and could potentially lead to diabetes. Another scientific study found that when volunteers consumed grape seed extract at least 30 to 60 minutes before a meal, the participants had a decreased appetite because the extract seemed to slow the absorption of food, which decreased feelings of hunger.
I also think ginger is very effective for helping with food cravings. Clinical research has shown that ginger consumption can reduce BMI, improve blood sugar metabolism, preventing the highs and lows that can lead to cravings and overeating.
I would take these ingredients with water before each meal.
Terry . . . Naturally