Cutting down on sugar is no easy task—especially when your craving for sweets is driven by hidden imbalances and nutritional deficiencies. According to Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of The Complete Guide to Beating Sugar Addiction, “There are a number of tried and true herbs and supplements that can keep your sweet tooth under control by supporting adrenal function and decreasing low blood sugar, two of the chief health concerns common to sugar addicts.”
Here’s what Dr. T recommends.
“Both American and Asian ginseng can help if you crave sweets when you are under stress and are especially helpful in curbing emotional overeating and keeping blood sugar levels stable. Some studies have shown that Asian ginseng may lower blood glucose, while other studies indicate possible beneficial effects on immune function. Asian ginseng is preferred, unless you have high blood pressure, in which case choose American Ginseng.”
Dose: 100 mg two times a day
“Chromium has been shown to be helpful in atypical (irritable) depression by helping with insulin resistance and lowering elevated blood sugar: In diabetes, although the blood sugar is high, the sugar just cannot get into the cells. This leaves them essentially sugar-starved (no matter how much sugar you eat) and leaves you craving sweets. This herb helps keep blood sugar levels stable, thus decreasing both irritability and sugar cravings.”
Dose: 200 mcg per day in a good multivitamin
“This herb comes from goldenseal and is also helpful in diabetes and for treating gut candida and other infections.”
Dose: 250 mg three times a day, up to 500 mg three times a day if it does not cause upset stomach
“This has a modest effect on blood sugar, but when added to foods like cereals and coffee, it adds flavor in a way that decreases the need for adding sugar.”
Dose: As desired to various foods and drinks
“Research shows that when vitamin D levels are low in the body, the hormone that helps turn off your appetite doesn’t function and you feel hungry, no matter how much you eat. In 2009, researchers at the University of Minnesota found that those who have enough vitamin D tend to lose more weight than those with low levels. Low vitamin D is also associated with increased diabetes risk.”
Dose: 400 to 2000 IU daily as part of a good multivitamin
“Found in cold-water fish like cod and salmon, omega-3 fatty acids are not only good for healthy brain function and mood, but are also good for glucose control. In a study conducted by researchers from the University of South Australia and published in the medical journal Public Health Nutrition, a higher intake of omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce insulin resistance, in turn lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.”
Dose: Eat 2 to 3 servings of oily fish (such as salmon or tuna) per week, or take a quality supplement—Dr. T likes Vectomega by EuroPharma. (One Vectomega daily replaces up to 10 fish oil caps!)
“Getting optimal nutritional support is important for overall health in general, but every sugar addict can benefit from a good powdered multivitamin. That’s because inadequate levels of nutrients will trigger food cravings in general and sugar cravings in particular, as your body instinctually seeks to get the nutrition it needs. Because human beings need more than 50 key nutrients, you’ll find that using vitamin powders makes sense.”
Dose: One drink can replace at least 35 tablets of supplements—for this, Dr. T recommends to Energy Revitalization System from Enzymatic Therapy.