Craving for something sweet is normal if you experience it once in a while. We all have craving for sweets at some point in our lives. However, if you crave sweet often, it could be a sign of underlying health risks such as Type 2 diabetes. If you crave sweets every day or after every meal, it could be a reason for worry. However, it can also work to your advantage, as you can start taking proactive steps to reduce your craving for sweets. Ayurveda offers various ways to reduce craving for sweets and you can apply these in your life to reduce your risk of lifestyle diseases such as Type 2 diabetes.
Why is sugar unhealthy?
In recent times, a number of research studies have indicated to the harmful effects of consuming excess sugar. The main problem with sugar is that it has ’empty calories’, i.e. it does not have any nutrients. Sugar supplies a high dose of energy, which is not good for your body. This is especially true if you have a sedentary lifestyle. Due to the low nutritive content of sugar, your craving for sweets is not satiated easily. You feel like eating more and more of the sweets. This leads to weight gain and obesity, which in turn increase the risk of diseases such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, tooth decay, etc.
What Ayurveda has to say about craving sweets?
Believed to be over 5,000 years old body of medicinal knowledge, Ayurveda describes the sweet taste as Madhura rasa. This is among the six primary tastes that the human mind can experience. It is important to note that Ayurveda does not refer to sugar when describing the sweet taste. Sugar came into the picture much later than the time when Ayurveda principles and practices were being defined by the great sages. Madhura rasarefers to the natural sweet taste that we get from food items such as milk, wheat, legumes, rice, etc. It also refers to the sweet taste of honey, fruits, and jaggery.
As per Ayurveda, Madhura rasa is good for Vata and Pitta dosha, but it adversely affects the Kapha dosha. The sweetness of naturally occurring food items is considered beneficial for the body, as it nourishes the blood, calms the sense organs and boosts reproductive health. However, when the sweetness is derived from sugar, it is harmful for the body. Sugar is also addictive, which makes it even tougher to overcome the craving for sweets.
How to overcome your craving for sweets
Lifestyle changes are an integral part of Ayurvedic treatment, which is exactly what you need to do for your sweet tooth. Here are some things you can do to reduce your craving for sweets.
- Gradually reduce the portions of sweets you are eating
- Use natural sweet foods such as raisins, fruits, coconut, milk, etc.
- Reduce your dependence on processed foods that contain empty calories
- Consume home cooked food, as it is nutritious and will help reduce your craving for sweets
- Drink herbal or green tea instead of the usual tea that has sugar
- Do Yoga or exercise, as it has shown to reduce craving for sweets
A number of Ayurveda therapies, Ayurveda massages and Ayurveda herbs and medicines can also be used to reduce your craving for sweets. When your craving for sweets is under control, it will automatically reduce the underlyinghealth risks.