We’re programmed to enjoy sweet tastes. To our hunter-gatherer ancestors, finding an occasional berry bush was good fortune. High in antioxidants, these foods were nutritious and safe to eat. Today, our desire for sweet tastes drives a lot of commercial interests, so we must be savvy about our sweets.
Besides setting up addictive patterns, here’s the slippery slope that eating sweets can start us down. When we eat sugar, the pancreas makes insulin. Insulin tells the body to store fat, by taking energy out of the blood and routing it to the fat cells. The body thinks it is starving, so it does three things that would have been helpful to our ancestors who might be facing true starvation: it stores fat, increases hunger, and slows metabolism. Not so good for us today! Our DNA is still programmed to protect us from famine, but food is now plentiful, so we have a harder and harder time losing weight.
In addition to switching to nutrient-dense, sugar-free occasional sweets, I suggest including a tablespoon of fermented vegetables with your meals. This will strengthen digestion and take away some of the cravings for sweets. Make sure you have adequate quality protein in small amounts and healthy fats like coconut oil and nuts, along with plenty of non-starchy vegetables.