Do you want to know one of the simplest ways to combat sugar cravings? Protein.
So many of you most likely have some kind of sugar cravings. Well, most often, these can be caused by three different things.
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Number one is blood sugar dysregulation. This can be caused by a high glycemic diet, poor macronutrient balance, or poor timing of meals.
The second is a bacterial imbalance and fungal overgrowth. The bacteria itself can actually crave carbohydrates. Yeast overgrowth can contribute to sugar cravings as well.
The third is a dopamine response. Sugar can affect us like a drug, cigarettes, or alcohol.
Because of all these three variables, we need to make sure that we are combating these cravings through one very simple thing, optimal protein intake.
How to decrease sugar cravings with protein
We do want to make sure that we clarify the type of protein. If we compare a cup of fish to a cup of rice and beans, the cup of rice and beans has approximately 375 calories, 42 grams of carbohydrates, and only 12 grams of protein, compared to one cup of fish, which has 175 calories and approximately 42 grams of high-quality protein.
So, you can see and hopefully appreciate that the protein content is very important. When comparing animal protein to plant-based protein, you’re going to have a lot more carbohydrates that can contribute to, for some people, more sugar cravings compared to high-quality clean protein sources that are low-calorie.
The key thing to remember about protein is that it provides more satiety — a sense of fullness. Therefore, it’s great to eat your protein first in your meal which is ideally comprised of a protein, a fat, and a fiber source. Eating the protein first will most likely cause you to eat less in volume and calories and also have less cravings.
Eating protein throughout the day in balanced proportions, approximately 30 to 50 grams of protein per meal, depending on your weight, will provide optimal blood sugar regulation. If you’re having, let’s say, white rice or another higher glycemic carbohydrate, by having protein with it, it will decrease the glycemic index of the meal.
How much protein should you have?
Thirty to 50 grams per meal of high-quality protein is key for optimal health, especially preservation of our lean muscle mass, which is necessary for longevity. But if we want to dive a little bit deeper into that, in an ideal world, it would be 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
Here’s the take-home message: eating more high-quality protein consistently throughout your day, at least 30 grams per meal, is vital for decreasing sugar cravings.
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