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Less Sugar Please - Mindfully Managing Your Sugar Cravings

Aliyah Bey, Wellness Manager with Mandela Partners shares monthly wellness tips with her community!

What sugar does to the brain and body

Your body needs one type of sugar, called glucose, to survive. However, a diet high in added sugar can lead to memory deficiencies, sugar addiction, and a decline in overall health.

Why is sugar so addicting?

When you consume sugar, the brain releases dopamine. Dopamine, also known as the feel-good hormone, is part of the brain's reward system. When you’re doing something pleasurable, your brain releases a large amount of dopamine -This is why sugar is so addictive. It triggers the release of a large amount of dopamine into your brain, which makes you feel good, and you seek more of that feeling.

Let's not use sugar for every triumph or tragedy

You probably consume sugar to celebrate life, as a reward for accomplishing a huge goal, or maybe you use it to cope when times are challenging, and that's OKAY! However, the long-term effects of sugar consumption are detrimental, and we should not consume it for every triumph or tragedy. The next time you find yourself craving sugar, try out the following.

5 Ds: Mindfully Managing Your Food Cravings

  • Delay- Wait ten minutes before allowing yourself the food you crave

  • Distract- Concentrate on something else

  • Distance- Do not keep tempting foods on hand; keep those foods out of sight or harder to obtain.

  • Determine- Think about how much you want it and if it is worth it

  • Decide- Know how much to eat; if you choose to eat something you crave, remember to enjoy it!

How to reduce your sugar intake

  1. Consume regular meals and space meals evenly apart. Do not allow yourself to feel extremely hungry

  2. Incorporate higher fiber/ less processed foods into your meals each day.

  3. Try substituting processed sweets for a high sugar fruit or fruit smoothie

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