Feel tired after meals? Unable to beat the bloat? Blame sugar
For some it can be a difficult addiction to break especially as sugar can be hidden in processed foods, fruit juice, low-fat 'labelled' foods, but also in many health foods.
Doctors and medical experts have long called for people to cut back on their sugar intake because of the impact it's shown to have on the body if consumed in excess.
Although there's now more public awareness it would seem not enough of us are taking heed.
New Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows 52 per cent of Australians are exceeding the World Health Organisation's recommended daily intake of 10 per cent.
Speaking to Whimn Australian naturopath Erika Morvay of Fusion Health said there are some key signs to look for that may show you could be on the slippery slope to sugar addiction, and selects some herbal alternatives to keep cravings at bay.
'Sugar in its various forms is often hidden in most processed food and drinks, takeaway, fruit juice, fast food, low-fat 'labelled' foods, but also many so called 'health' foods,' she told the publication.
So what should you be on the lookout for?
RAMPANT SUGAR CRAVINGS
Health experts believe that sugar tolerance increases with every sweet morsel consumed so eventually food will have to be extra sweet for its sugariness to be noticed.
Nutritionist Lorraine Kearney has said that foods high in sugar give us a quick 'fix' which tempt us back time and time again.
'Sugar is like a drug in that it keeps needing more and more sugar to reach the same level that it had at first.'
Natural remedy: Cinnamon has been shown to help reduce sugar cravings by controlling blood glucose levels. Research has found it can help minimise insulin spikes after meals.
FEELING TIRED AFTER MEALS
While sugar gives us a temporary rush of energy, the down side is that it can lead to a 'sugar crash' which can increase feelings of fatigue.
Health expert Natalie Lamb explained that sugar consumption can create a cycle where the body is always in a state of needing more and that the higher the peaks, the lower the dips.
'Following the consumption of sugar, the pancreas releases insulin to help transfer glucose to the cells, meaning we may experience a rush of energy.
'Once used up, we can experience a dip in energy as the body demands more sugar to start the cycle all over again. It is not hard to imagine that the higher the sugar peak, the more extreme the sugar dip that will follow!'
Natural remedy: Chromium, which is an essential nutrient involved in carbohydrate production, can help people with a high intake of dietary sugars.
It's been found sugar has a significant impact on mood, and can contribute to feelings of irritability and stress.
According to research excess sugar can block your ability to turn a substance called GLA (gamma linoleic acid) into the DGLA (dihomo-gamma-linoleic acid) needed to produce prostaglandins that improve mood.
Natural remedy: Magnesium plays an important role in supporting blood sugar regulation and normal cellular energy production. Taking magnesium has also been shown to help with sleep, memory and mood.