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Tricks for Treating Halloween Candy Cravings

It’s hard enough to turn away from the candy aisle at your supermarket checkout. Must they also display the cute pumpkin-shaped “peeps” within arm’s reach? Yes, sugar mongers, it’s once again “trick or treat” season. The real trick, however, seems to be figuring out how to resist the plethora of treats.

Don’t feel too guilty. As a throwback to early survival, a taste for sugar is actually the only instinctual taste modern man is born with, while the other tastes of sour, salt, bitter, pungent, and unami are indeed learned. In fact researchers believe that early man was genetically selected for sugar consumption because those who ate it—back then in the form of ripened, often fermented fruit—had more immediate energy than those who consumed only protein, making them more likely to outrun their counterparts when pursuing bison for the family dinner. The problem now seems to be that there is simply too much sugar available in the modern diet (the average American eats about 145 pounds of sugar annually) and not enough by way of bison hunting. So when we overindulge, we end up storing this energy in the form of fat and awaiting the hunt that never takes place.

What’s a pumpkin “peep” eater (or caramel candy corn craver) to do? Apart from wearing blinders at the checkout, try these healthy energy providing tips before you reach for those short-lived sugar highs and see if you can’t trick those sugar-addicted taste buds into submission:

*Have a high fiber snack: You’ll feel full for longer and less likely to grab sweets
*Don’t confuse thirst with hunger: Drink a 12-ounce glass of water before you shop
*Exercise for a natural high: Even a brisk five-minute walk can enliven you
*De-stress and relax: Close your eyes for 10 minutes and meditate
*Retrain your taste buds: According to the Chinese, drinking naturally bitter-tasting green tea can balance sugar cravings

 

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