The dangers of excess sugars are many and impact our lives in the short term and long term. The most common is associated with extra calories and possible weight gain. Secondly, the spike in blood sugar creates increased glucose levels, which affect our energy levels and make the roller-coaster effects of stimulation and then depression. Finally, sugar-related illnesses are significant causes of heart disease, diabetes, and immunity-related health issues, including cancer and candida.
It is essential to understand the difference between sugar and sweet taste. Ayurveda believes that each meal should contain all six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent). This ensures proper digestion, assimilation, and elimination processes and creates Ojas (the life sap of life).
From the Ayurvedic viewpoint, excess sugar can be problematic because it is heavy, clogging, stale, and overstimulating. It creates Ama (toxins), sluggishness, weakens immunity, and causes disease. But the sweet taste is important because it is grounding, nourishing, and calming, improving strength and vitality, supports tissue nourishment, immunity, and quality sleep.
From a dosha point of view, the sweet taste balances both Vata and Pitta but can increase Kapha. The common sources of sweet taste are legumes, grains, root vegetables, dairy products, animal products, fresh and dried fruits, and sweet spices like cardamom, coriander, fennel, cinnamon, and licorice.
Ayurvedic Strategies for Sugar Addiction
To find balance with sugar and its cravings requires examining current behaviors around sugar and foods and possibly change some habits. Eating a balanced and warm diet is brings stability. Incorporating high-quality oils like; ghee, extra virgin olive, and coconut oils creates groundedness. Using spices like turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, and fresh ginger benefits digestion and absorption. Below are a few points to consider.
1. Notice Your Emotions
It’s no surprise that there is a link between your emotions and eating high-fat, high-sugar foods. If you get stressed or feel sad and go straight for the sugar, you might be an emotional sugar eater. Discussing this with a friend or professional will help find awareness and introspection.
2. Balance Your Blood Sugar Levels
If your blood sugar tends to fluctuate during the day and you crave sweets to keep your energy up, then consider eating your breakfast within one hour of waking up. This will helps to stabilize your blood sugar and insulin levels. Include protein and healthy fats with each meal to stabilize blood sugar.
3. Incorporate Sweet Vegetables into Your Diet
Adding sweet vegetables into your diet will help satisfy the sweet taste, including roasted sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, and winter squashes like butternut or acorn.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Studies have shown that not getting proper sleep increases sugar consumption and increases the craving for sweets to bolster energies. It is important to stay rested and understand how fatigue can upset your balance.