As the holidays approach there are a lot of things to consider. For some, the holidays represent a season of sorrow. For others the season may represent a series of endless events, celebrations, and good cheer. Most of us are somewhere in between. Regardless, there will be endless opportunities to imbibe in sugary treats.

This homage to sugar starts with Thanksgiving, then Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanza, New Years. And if you really want to stretch it out you can actually extend it all the way to Valentine’s Day. This may be extreme but that’s how addictive sugar can be!

Sugar Blues

Sugar does not do a body good. We all know this. Studies have shown through the years the negative effects sugar has on our health.

Handle with Care

It’s never too late to take control of our sugar cravings. Many will tout the benefits of not consuming sugar at all, perhaps except for consuming modest amounts of fruit. But for most of us, consuming some sugar in our diets is inevitable. Here are some helpful hints to help you maintain of healthy balance.

Healthy Diet. There’s no denying consuming too much sugar can challenge healthy blood sugar balance. Consuming protein with each meal can help support healthy blood sugar balance. This simple act of taking care with the amount of protein we’re eating, can help us jump off that hamster wheel of a sugar consumption.

Consuming healthy fats and fiber are also critical for overall health including healthy sugar balance.

Even in seemingly healthy foods we can find high sugar content. For example, while potatoes offer a variety of health benefits, they are high in carbohydrates (a type of naturally sourced sugar). Don’t deny your love of potatoes, just eat with care. A little goes a long way. The same is true for rice, bread, and beer (all high in carbohydrates). They’re great! But, in moderation.

Keep in mind that not all sugar is evident. Many packaged foods contain refined sugar. So, get to know your food labels. While you’re looking for sugar you can also look at the other ingredients. If there are things in there that don’t look or sound like a “real food” it likely, is not real food.

Additional Support

Chromium. Preliminary and emerging research suggests that small amounts of the mineral chromium can help support healthy blood sugar balance. Foods with naturally occurring chromium include grape juice, wine, a variety of meats, Brazil nuts, whole wheat.

Gymnema sylvestre. Gymnema is a botanical from the Ayurvedic tradition also known by its name¬†gurmar, which means “sugar destroyer. The leaves contain gymnemic acid which temporarily may suppress the sweet taste. Traditional Ayurvedic practitioners used the plant for a variety of health challenges related to sugar balance.

Sugar options. While you’re trying to ween off your sugar consumption consider checking out the variety of healthier sugar options like monk fruit or stevia. Although nothing beats actually not having sugar cravings, these alternative options can really help during a transition. Keep these in mind if you do New Years resolutions and one of them is to stop eating sugar.