Jul 01

Why do our sugary cravings always strike at 4pm?

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clip_image002It’s 4pm, you’ve got an inbox that’s bursting at the seams, a to-do list longer than your morning commute, but all you want to do is devour an entire packet of biscuits in an effort to stay awake.

Overwhelming food cravings are the culprit behind most broken diets. But why does this sweet treat urge always seem to hit us at around 4pm? And what can we do to curb these calorific cravings? We enlist the help of independent nutritional expert and dietician Naomi Beinart to help explain this 4pm food phenomenon and offer us some healthy snack solutions.

When we are tired, we tend to make poorer food choices, wanting a quick sweet fix to perk us up. This can occur most often in the afternoon when cortisol levels can take a natural dip (cortisol is a hormone naturally produced by the adrenal glands that fluctuates throughout the day) and when this dip occurs, we may feel more tired as cortisol normally gives us a feeling of energy.

Sweet Fix

Naomi explains ‘When you’re in your 20’s, it’s very easy to snack on sweet things without putting on weight, and still having enough energy to get through the day and go out all night. Fast forward to your 30’s and 40’s and sweet snacking can cause a host of problems from premature ageing, a decrease in energy levels, hormonal imbalances and mood problems.’’

Thankfully all of these health concerns can be helped by eating the right foods at the right time, ‘eating well will help balance out blood sugar, reduce sweet cravings, increase energy levels and help make skin look better,’ says Naomi.

Blood sugar rollercoaster

Fluctuating glucose levels can be harmful for our health. The rollercoaster of glycemic highs and lows is not good for our general health. If over time, you become insulin resistant, where more and more insulin is being produced by the pancreas, but the insulin receptors in your cells do not respond effectively to it, then this can increase your risk of diabetes and high blood pressure.

Want to get off the ride?

Try taking a natural nutritional supplement that can help to balance out your blood sugar levels. Diabain has 2 such products that do just that. Diabain’s Inusol is a herbal remedy made from a scientific blend of 8 natural nutrients and minerals that can help to control blood sugar levels and is free from any harmful chemicals. Similarly Diabain’s Vittol is a multi-vitamin and mineral formula with a blend of 26 essential elements, ensuring you have the fundamental nutrirnets to help keep you healthy. Vittol has been scientifically formulated to help lower blood sugar levels & glycemic response in both type-2 diabetics and those diagnosed as having a pre-diabetic condition. Inusol and Vittol are £9.99 from www.diabain.com.

Naomi’s diet Do’s and Don’ts

Don’t be restricted by your circumstances. Travel, eating out and dieting can all restrict our food choices. Overcome these by always having a healthy snack with you, such as a banana, almonds or oatcakes with guacamole or hummus.

Supplements can be helpful in controlling sugar cravings and energy dips. Choose one with key blood sugar regulating properties such as Fenugreek extract, Cinnamon bark and Gymnema Sylvestre extract.

Avoid sushi, as the white rice can be bad news for your blood sugar levels, instead go for sashimi or grilled chicken and vegetables.

Eat every 3 hours. When you eat, your blood sugar (glucose) rises in response to the food. The higher and quicker it rises, the more

insulin has to be produced by your pancreas. The higher your blood sugar goes up, the lower it crashes down afterwards. This crash will also occur if you leave longer than three hours between eating. At the drop, your body will send you off for a quick fix, like a bar of chocolate or a cup of tea and biscuit, because it need to lift the blood sugar up again.

Get more of Naomi’ top tips here…

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Where in the body is cortisol produced?

a) The adrenal glands

b) The kidneys

c) The small intestine