I have a confession to make: I used to have a big sweet tooth. Whenever I went out to dinner with friends and family, I was known to indulge in dessert and sugary drinks.
If you read that carefully enough, you’ll know that I no longer have a sweet tooth. While I personally won’t admit to it, my family and friends said I was seriously addicted to sugar. I’m not alone. Over the past few years, the consumption of sugar-based foods has been increasing. This isn’t a good thing. High sugar consumption can seriously damage your body!
Perhaps it sounds more mild than other addictions, but having sugar cravings could signal a deficiency in chromium. In fact, it is estimated that 25-50% of Americans maintain diets deficient in chromium.
What is Chromium?
Chromium is a mineral that boosts the actions of insulin and the regulation of blood sugar. While it may be essential to our metabolic processes, we don’t need much of it. Chromium is found within every food group, but sources provide only a sliver of it.
Chromium’s effect may be limited to the blood sugar, but a lot depends on your blood sugar! Chromium deficiency has been linked to a rise in high blood sugar. As a result, chromium deficiency may lead to the development of diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) an adult needs:
males 19-50: 35 mcg per day
males over 50: 30 mcg per day
females 19-50: 25 mcg per day
females over 50: 20mcg per day
pregnant females over 19: 30 mcg per day
lactating females over 18: 45 mcg per day
Why you might be deficient?
The chromium content of the food we eat is largely dependent on the levels of chronium in the soil. When the farmland we grow our vegetables on is low in chromium, the crops will be too! This is even worse for refined foods where there’s little to no chromium to be absorbed.
Fight Sugar Cravings
While getting chromium from foods is ideal, when you’re deficient you may have to start with a natural supplement. The best form of chromium is chromium picolinate. This form is the most absorbable. A study of 42 overweight women found that chromium picolinate lead to less food intake, lower hunger levels and lower fat cravings. This resulted in a decrease in body weight. Look for chromium picolinate in your local health food stores.
Two of the best sources of chromium is broccoli and brewer’s yeast. Brewer’s yeast has been used in the regulation of blood sugar since the time of the American Civil war. Aside from broccoli, a good source of chromium is whole grains like barley and oats.
While increasing the amount of chromium-rich food you eat, avoid processed foods high in refined sugar. It’s also important to avoid refined grains. Cutting sugar out of your meals is one of the best ways to take control of your health. It definitely was one of the best decisions I ever made!
While out with friends and family, I still occasionally indulge. But now that I’m on top of my chromium levels, it’s safe to say I’ve curbed my sugar cravings for good!