A Guide to Reducing Added Sugar & Beating Your Sweet Tooth | Medi-Share

Oct 22, 2017

Reading time: 5 Minutes

Revised May 2024

Indulge your sweet tooth without guilt. Learn about sugar alternatives and nutrient-rich snacks that can help you reduce sugar intake while satisfying cravings.


One does not simply eat one cookie. 


A big bowl (or two) of ice cream, a slice of pie here, a few cookies there, an extra helping of Grandma's Jell-O...


Sweets are enjoyable. We get it! They’re especially tempting during birthdays, holiday parties and family gatherings.


But whether it's the holidays or another time of year, we want to equip you with strategies to resist the almost uncontrollable urge to gobble sugary foods.


After all, processed sugar can hijack the brain's reward center, leading to a release of dopamine, a hormone that makes you feel good. But this feeling is short-lived, so you’re left with relentless cravings for sweet foods. It’s your body’s unconscious drive to find another dose of dopamine.  


Recognizing a sugar addiction and knowing the steps to break this dependency can set your mind and body free from the undesirable side effects sugar can cause, like fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and depression. So first, let's figure out if your sweet tooth is about more than just an occasional indulgence.


Signs of a Sugar Addiction

  • Feeling sluggish and tired
  • Eating sweets without hunger
  • Frequent colds or sickness
  • Constant hunger
  • Cravings for unhealthy food
  • Mood swings
  • Regret after eating


In a time when so many Americans yearn for an afternoon caffeine pick-me-up due to low energy, we should consider the possibility that sugar is at the root of our energy crash.   


So what can you do?  


Six Simple Strategies to Overcome Sugar Addiction



  1. Pray. Involve God in your journey to overcome sugar cravings. The discipline of prayer can be a great help in your efforts of discipline toward sugar.

  2. Eat regularly. Going long periods of time without food can drop your blood sugar level, making you crave unhealthy foods. So avoid long gaps between meals to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Choose whole, nutrient-dense foods that nourish your body.

  3. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Thirst can masquerade as hunger.

  4. Change habits. Replace desk snacking with healthier alternatives like chewing gum or sipping water.

  5. Munch on minerals. A lack of minerals can worsen blood sugar control. Eat plenty of mineral-packed green, leafy vegetables instead to keep your blood sugars level.

  6. Enjoy fermented foods. Some individuals find they have fewer sweet cravings when they consume sour or bitter foods like Greek yogurt. An added bonus: fermented foods have healthy bacteria that may fight gut issues caused by high sugar intake .

The Cleveland Clinic reports that a sugar addiction can be broken in 10 days, but even if it takes longer, it‘ll be worth it. You’ll be shocked when you realize that you’re no longer seeking sweet foods like chocolate chips, and the “sweet taste” will become overpowering. You may suddenly realize that a carrot tastes sweeter than it used to.


Dr. Asa Andrew teaches a 10 percent rule: Eat well 90 percent of the time and 10 percent do what you want. However, he warns against foods with long-term health risks, including those high in added sugars.


Beware of hidden sugars in processed foods. Reach for whole foods in their natural, unprocessed form to avoid unexpected sugar intake.


Replacing Sugar in Your Diet


For those looking to consume less sugar, consider low-sugar versions of your favorite foods or explore natural sugar options. A nutritionist or dietitian can provide personalized advice to curb food cravings.


Enjoy dark chocolate for a sweet treat that's also rich in antioxidants. Sweeteners like maple syrup and stevia can sweeten dishes without the negative effects of refined sugar.


Peanut butter, Greek yogurt, and nuts offer satisfying textures and flavors as part of a healthy snack. Whole grains, sweet potatoes, and dried fruit provide natural sugar with added nutritional benefits, including calcium and magnesium.


Granola, rich in whole grains, and chia seeds, high in omega-3 and healthy fats, make great additions to any diet. Good-for-you foods like fresh blueberries and raspberries offer a burst of sweetness.


A Word of Warning about Artificial Sweeteners


You may be thinking, “Well, that’s ok... I can just use fake sugar to get my sweet fix,” and you should probably rethink that...


Studies have shown  that artificial sweeteners like saccharin, aspartame, sucralose, etc., may be linked to the following side effects:


  • Cancer
  • Weight gain (Wait, what? I thought fake sweeteners were supposed to help me lose weight!)
  • Blood sugar problems
  • Metabolic syndrome (which contributes to weight gain, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol)
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gut issues


The risks may very well outweigh the benefits, and replacing one unhealthy source of sweetness for another won’t retrain your taste buds in a way that will give you added health benefits.


Focusing on Life's Sweeter Aspects


Find joy in the Word of God and the company of loved ones. Shift your focus from food to the blessings in your life. In Christ we are a new creation, TODAY is the day to count the blessings God has gifted you and focus on building new habits to safeguard your health.


Looking for sugar-free alternatives this holiday season? Explore our Health & Wellness Library full of delicious, healthy recipes.


Discover how Medi-Share can help you get (and stay) healthier, while saving you money, click here to learn more.



Visit Our Health & Wellness Library




Subscribe To The Blog

Subscribers get all of Medi-Share's most recent and relevant content conveniently emailed to them once a week. Sign up today!

Follow Us

Medi-Share Is A Community Of Like-Minded Christians

Medi-Share is an innovative health care solution for Christians looking to save money without sacrificing on quality.