Do you often find yourself reaching for a bag of chips between mealtimes or that you can’t stop eating a packet of biscuits till it is finished? You could be dealing with an unknown carb-addiction!
Most of us crave the tasty goodness of carbs. In fact, carbohydrates are an essential part of one’s daily diet –our main source of energy. It is when healthy carb sources like fruits, vegetables and whole grains are replaced with highly processed junk foods like pizza, chips and sodas that the problem begins. Processed foods, although convenient, are high in salt, sugar and trans fat causing health concerns like obesity, heart disease, mood disorders and hormonal imbalances.
While research about food addictions is fairly new, an addiction to highly processed carbohydrates has been found to be similar to other substance abuse (1). Chemicals produced in the stomach lead to the production of Dopamine – the HAPPY HORMONE – in our brain. This in turn makes us crave more of the substance that caused it. It’s a tricky trap.
The good news, however, is that with dietary changes and a plan of action, this addiction is easy to kick! Below are a few methods that you can adopt to close the doors on unhealthy carb habits:
– Bring on the protein: Natural proteins found in organic milk, cheese, curd and yogurt keeps you fuller for longer. They’re also accompanied by healthy carbohydrates that help meet your body’s energy requirements. Replacing not-so-good munchies with protein-rich alternatives can go a long way in keeping cravings at bay
– Craving sweet? Eat fruit! : Not only do the natural sugars in fruits satisfy your hankering for something sweet, the fiber helps keep you full too. Better yet, add fruit to protein in the form of milkshakes, smoothies, fruit yogurts and get the best of both worlds
– Stay hydrated: Dehydration can trigger a craving for salt. Staying hydrated with healthy beverages like buttermilk or tender coconut water can prevent you from overeating salty junk food
– Move your body: Indulging in physical activities like walking and working out releases endorphins in the body which negate the need for dopamine boosts through food
Replacing unhealthy snacks with healthier, tasty options is easy. Swap drinks with artificial sweeteners for milkshakes or buttermilk, replace sugary malt beverages for your children with honey or fruits to make them tempting and switch deep-fried snacks with pan-fried paneer in ghee or cheese sticks. There are plenty of recipes available online and Akshayakalpa Organic brings you the freshest ingredients to ensure you can get the best of taste and clean nutrition.
So let’s say goodbye to excessive carbohydrates and move towards a healthier lifestyle together! We can do this!
References for carbohydrate addictions: