Sugar cravings. Can’t they be annoying? You may be working at your desk when your sweet tooth strikes and all you want is a treat. The good news? You can resist these desires without sacrificing your health goals. Here are some of the best foods for satisfying sugar cravings:
When a sugar craving strikes, you have healthier options. Skip the cookie or brownie and reach for nature’s candy instead. Unlike packaged, sugary treats, fruit supplies natural sweetness, along with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants with anti-inflammatory benefits. And you have lots to choose from.
Whether you like juicy watermelons or sweet strawberries, you can satisfy a craving in a healthy way. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Rather than biting into an apple, peel a kiwi instead and enjoy its natural sweetness. It’s also one of the best sources of vitamin C, with more of this antioxidant vitamin than an orange.
Because of the fruit’s high fiber content, you absorb its natural sugar slowly into your bloodstream, so you get sustained energy. Therefore, the next time you have a hankering for sugar, try satisfying it with a piece of fruit instead. Your taste buds will thank you!
Looking for a guilt-free way to satisfy a sugar craving? Then dark chocolate is your new best friend. Although you might think of dark chocolate as “candy,” it has medicinal properties and nutrients too. It’s packed with antioxidants called flavonoids that, according to studies, may have cardiovascular benefits.
Plus, the slight bitterness you taste with dark chocolate helps curb a sugar craving in a healthier manner. Instead of reaching for a candy bar loaded with sugar, try indulging in a piece of rich, flavorful dark chocolate. You’ll get sweet satisfaction without the guilt. It’s a guilt-free indulgence.
Nuts are one of the healthiest snacks you can pick. With an abundance of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, they’re a source of sustainable fuel and will keep you satisfied longer than a sugar snack. Several studies also reveal that munching on nuts lowers markers of inflammation. That’s important since many common health issues, like cardiovascular disease, cancer, and autoimmune conditions have an inflammatory component. But there’s more. Research also reveals another reason that nuts are healthy. A study found that consuming pistachios lowered systolic blood pressure and improved blood vessel function.
And then there’s the magnesium content of nuts. You need magnesium for a healthy heart, nervous, and musculoskeletal system. Plus, magnesium also affects insulin sensitivity and blood glucose control. Regardless of which nut you choose, you’ll get magnesium along with other vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. There’s a nut for everyone, whether you prefer almonds, walnuts, or cashews, so why not start nibbling on them today?
Have you tried Greek yogurt yet? If not, you’re missing out on a nutrient-dense snack. Greek yogurt is a standout nutritional choice due to its high protein content. In fact, Greek yogurt has almost double the protein of regular yogurt. Therefore, it’s an excellent post-workout snack that contains carbohydrates, to restore glycogen, and protein for muscle repair.
Unflavored Greek yogurt is also low in sugar. Flavored yogurts are usually high in added sugars, which can cause blood sugar spikes and energy crashes. Greek yogurt contains less sugar than regular yogurt, making it a better choice for your health. It also contains twice the quantity of protein, which is beneficial for satiety. However, it’s lower in calcium than regular yogurt.
Plus, Greek yogurt is gut-friendly, being a source of gut-friendly probiotic bacteria to nurture your gut and support immune health. Add your favorite fruits for more vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Spices add flavor to foods but also health benefits. Adding a pinch of cinnamon to a recipe or a cup of coffee may help prevent blood sugar spikes. This delicious spice not only adds flavor to food but is also an excellent choice if you have type 2 diabetes or are prediabetic.
Plus, cinnamon helps keep cravings at bay by balancing your blood sugar level. Cinnamon contains compounds that can boost insulin sensitivity and help your cells better process glucose. This allows your cells to use insulin more effectively, leading to lower blood sugar levels. Sprinkle some on your oatmeal in the morning or add it to your coffee for a warm and cozy treat.
Marvel at the many ways you can use cinnamon too. Sprinkle it into savory dishes and baked goods for extra flavor. And let’s not forget about cinnamon in your morning coffee or tea – it adds a delightful hint of sweetness that will make you less dependent on the sugar bowl. So next time you’re in the kitchen, don’t forget about this super spice and the way it can satisfy your taste buds in a healthful manner.
Sweet potatoes are a wonderful complement to any diet because of their sweet flavor and high nutrient density. Sweet potatoes’ complex carbs are among its best qualities since they deliver a consistent supply of energy throughout the day. So, you can skip the sweet treats that cause blood sugar swings that cause you to feel tired.
It’s no secret that most people don’t get enough fiber. Sweet potatoes supply you with a healthy dose of this non-digestible carbohydrate. Plus, soluble fiber in sweet potatoes helps you stay full longer after eating. Eating more fiber-rich foods can help you tame sugar cravings as well.
Take advantage of their versatility. You can roast, bake, or mash sweet potatoes and create all sorts of dishes, sweet or savory. So next time you’re looking for a nutritious and tasty meal option, give sweet potatoes a try!
Popcorn is not only crunchy and tasty but also has some unexpected benefits for your health. When you snack on popcorn, you get 20% of the daily value for fiber in one serving. Popcorn, if you didn’t already know, has a lot of fiber. With that amount of fiber, you won’t feel hungry as quickly as you would if you munched on a low-fiber snack.
For added flavor, sprinkle some cinnamon on top. Other options include garlic powder, chili powder, or nutritional yeast for a cheese flavor So, the next time you’re searching for a great and nutritious snack, grab some popcorn and get creative with your toppings – and don’t forget that many spices have anti-inflammatory benefits.
Sugar cravings are a challenge but that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a healthier way. Fruit, dark chocolate, almonds, yogurt, cinnamon, sweet potatoes, and popcorn can help rein in sugar cravings in a way that benefits your health. So, the next time you want a sweet snack, look for one of these healthy alternatives instead. Your body will appreciate it!
- Eckelkamp, Stephanie. 2015. “5 Super Common Nutrient Deficiencies That Are Making You Overeat.” Prevention. Prevention. October 2, 2015..prevention.com/food-nutrition/a20481018/nutrient-deficiency-and-overeating/.
- McKenzie, Isabelle. 2021. “Isabelle McKenzie.” Isabelle McKenzie. August 11, 2021. .isabellemckenzie.com/blog/why-do-i-crave-chocolate-that-sweet-craving-could-mean-a-magnesium-deficiency.
- Susan Yanovski, Sugar, and Fat: Cravings and Aversions, The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 133, Issue 3, March 2003, Pages 835S-837S, //doi.org/10.1093/jn/133.3.835S
- “How Cinnamon Lowers Blood Sugar and Fights Diabetes – Healthline.” 22 Mar. 2017, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cinnamon-and-diabetes.
- “Effect of Nuts on Markers of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress: A ….” 22 Feb. 2023, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10005658/.