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Originally published April 12 2013

Beat your sugar cravings once and for all: Five unconventional solutions

by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Sugar addiction is a difficult habit to break for many people, especially when the body and digestive tract become so overrun with yeast, candida, parasites and other sugar-loving bacteria that not eating sugar triggers intense withdrawal symptoms. But if you are tired of your sweet tooth calling all the shots as far as your diet is concerned, there is hope beyond just trying (and more than likely failing) to quit sugar cold turkey.

Here are five unconventional methods that may help you naturally eliminate your sugar cravings:

1) Eat more protein. Eating high-carbohydrate, sugar-rich foods provides an almost instantaneous energy boost, which is why many people prefer and even crave these foods throughout the day. But the initial "sugar rush" that results from eating such foods quickly fades, leaving a person down in the dumps until the next sugar fix, perpetuating an endless cycle of "highs" and "lows" that put serious strain on adrenal function.

Protein-rich foods like meat, nuts, and beans, on the other hand, provide a steady and balanced source of energy for your body, which can help eliminate cravings for empty sweets. Eating a protein-rich breakfast composed of foods like eggs and pasture-based meats rather than cereal or toast, for instance, is a great way to get your body primed for stabilized and steady energy release throughout the day. Since breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day, be sure to check out the six healthy breakfast ideas link at the bottom of this page.

2) Take probiotics. A major cause of sugar addiction today is bacterial overgrowth in the body, or an excess proliferation of harmful yeasts and bacterial strains that literally feed on sugar. Eliminating this bacterial overgrowth and balancing your gut flora is key to overcoming not only your sensory sugar craving, but also your body's apparent dependence on sugar -- these two states of being are intimately connected.

One of the best ways you can re-balance your inner ecosystem and kick the sugar habit is to consume more probiotic-rich foods like kombucha (fermented tea), kefir, cultured vegetables, and yogurt lassi. As the probiotics from these foods enter your small intestine, their presence will help kill off the microbes and yeasts that fuel your sugar cravings. Drinking just a few ounces of kombucha or kefir with a meal can also help offset sugar intake by eating up sugars before they cause bodily harm.

3) Supplement with gymnema. Adrenal exhaustion is a common symptom of sugar addiction, as the constant roller coaster of highs and lows associated with excess sugar consumption destroy the body's ability to regulate itself. But one effective way to help eliminate sugar cravings naturally, and thus give your adrenal glands a chance to recharge and heal, is to supplement with gymnema, a tropical herb native to Southeast Asia.

"Gymnema has historic use as a therapy for diabetes and arthritis and has also earned significant recent interest as a multi-supportive therapy for weight management," explains the Global Healing Center. "Evidence suggests gymnema can reduce cravings for sweets, reduce sugar absorption during digestion, and aid in balancing blood sugar levels."

4) Balance your serotonin, dopamine levels. Getting back to the issue of hormones, a diet high in processed sugar and refined carbohydrates tends to disrupt the normal production of both serotonin and dopamine, two brain neurotransmitters that regulate energy, mood, and cognitive function. Eating high amounts of sugar may initially boost brain levels of serotonin, also known as the "happiness hormone," leading to temporary feelings of pleasure, but doing so can also create too much serotonin, which can lead to not only a deficiency in dopamine, but also a dependence on sugar for serotonin.

Protein consumption, on the other hand, provides your body with a full array of amino acids, which are required for the natural and balanced production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. So once again, adopting a habit of eating more protein can change the way your body functions for the better.

5) Eat more healthy saturated fats. It may seem counter-intuitive based on conventional wisdom, but increased fat consumption can actually help you beat your sugar cravings while improving your health. Contrary to popular opinion, saturated fats like coconut oil; raw, pasture-based butter and lard; sustainably-raised palm oil; and grass-fed milk and cream are all excellent healthy fats that will provide solid sustenance for your body and brain, which can help naturally eliminate your cravings for sugar.

"Certain saturated fats, particularly those found in butter, lard, coconut oil, and palm oil, function directly as signaling messengers that influence metabolism, including such critical jobs as the appropriate release of insulin," explains Tim Ferriss from "Without the correct signals to tell the organs and glands what to do, the job doesn't get done or gets done improperly."

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