Many people know this: shortly after a meal, even if you are actually full, you suddenly have a craving for something sweet. A chocolate bar, a few jelly bears, a pudding for dessert - and then a guilty conscience. You don't have to give up sugar completely, but if you manage to keep your blood sugar stable, the craving attacks will stay away. Here you can find out how!
How the blood sugar level works
Our blood supplies all the cells of the body not only with oxygen, but also with energy, in the form of glucose. When you take this in through food, the glucose level in your blood rises. In response, your body secretes insulin, which ensures that the cells can absorb the glucose and thus lowers the glucose level again. Excess glucose is stored as glycogen in the muscles or liver as an energy reserve. This energy is also stored in the form of fat. In this way, excessive sugar consumption can lead to obesity, high blood pressure and elevated blood lipid levels.
If the blood sugar level drops because we haven't eaten for a long time or need a lot of energy in the short term, the pancreas releases glucagon.This counterpart of insulin ensures that the stored glycogen is released. In this way, our body is in a constant interplay of insulin and glucagon. If this balancing function is disturbed, we speak of diabetes.
How blood glucose levels affect cravings
As already mentioned, the intake of sugar causes a rise in blood sugar levels. However, we are not only talking about chocolate and cakes. Carbohydrates such as bread and pasta are broken down into monosaccharides and polysaccharides in the intestines, or already in the mouth.
White cereal products and sugar cause the blood sugar level to shoot up quickly, but also to drop again quickly. Your body perceives this as an acute lack of energy and signals that quick energy is needed. This results in a craving for sweets.
With an acute excess of glucose, the mitochondria in the cells are also flooded, so to speak. They cannot process the amount of energy and shut down for a short time. This manifests itself as a temporary inflammatory reaction that leaves us tired and listless after a sumptuous meal.
How to keep your blood sugar levels stable - 4 tips
To avoid cravings and long-term conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, it's important to keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. To do this, there are a few simple adjustments to your diet that you can easily incorporate into your day.
1. keep sugar at a minimum
To avoid unnecessary blood sugar spikes, try to avoid simple sugars as much as possible. Sweets such as chocolate and soft drinks should only appear on the menu in exceptional cases.
2. focus on whole grain products
Simple carbohydrates are converted to simple sugars and also cause a rise in blood sugar levels. Whole grain products, on the other hand, contain additional protein, fiber and vitamins. As a result, blood sugar levels rise much more slowly and not as sharply. So you should switch to whole-grain pasta and bread and eat potatoes, quinoa or whole-grain rice more often.
3. have a hearty breakfast
Since fruit also contains sugar and the stomach is particularly sensitive to glucose in the morning, a hearty, completely sugar-free breakfast is recommended. Above all, your breakfast should contain protein and fiber. For example, an omelet or scrambled eggs with feta and vegetables would be recommended.
4. pay attention to nutrient supply
Two nutrients are especially important to keep blood sugar stable. These are chromium and zinc. You should definitely pay attention to an adequate supply of these two. Chromium ensures normal regulation of blood sugar levels and zinc is important for carbohydrate metabolism.
Keep enjoying life
With all these rules and recommendations, of course, you should not forget to enjoy your life. It's all about your habits, your daily eating habits. If you implement these tips as a matter of course in your everyday life, you will notice that cravings will disappear over time. This way you can break the vicious circle of cravings and high sugar intake. However, there is nothing to stop you eating a piece of cake on special occasions.