Sugar cravings are far more commonly sugar and fat cravings. Far less people are addicted to boiled sweets than chocolate – and there is a very good reason for this. As humans, we are wired to love both sugar and fat. This goes back to our primitive, cave-dwelling ancestors. In those days, where food was genuinely scarce and unprocessed, both fat and sugar were great news for us. They provided a valuable source of energy for us, AND they were far healthier for us.
How so? The sugar was healthier because it came wrapped up in fibre (in the form of fruit) – and it is the fibre that counteracts the health-damaging fructose in fruit, by slowing down the release of blood sugar. This in turn means we don’t need to produce so much insulin to bring the blood sugar levels down. And one of the jobs of insulin is to store fat.
The fat was healthier because it was in its unprocessed form, which contains essential fatty acids (notice they are not called ‘optional fatty acids’) or EFAs for short. EFAs do all sorts of wonderful things for us, such as lower blood sugar and balance out hormones and improve mood and cognition. Cheap fats have had all the EFAs stripped out of them these days.
The thing that helped me (and my clients) succeed in reducing the processed sugar was that I did not try to deny myself this fat/sugar mix. I just changed it so that it was healthier. All my sugar came from fruit, and I started having more healthy fats.
See the next question for a suggestion you can implement straight away to make this change.