Cravings for sugar are one of the most difficult times to deal with. Otherwise, we wouldn’t feel like we were in a battle just trying to resist a sugary cookie or candy bar. And sadly, sugar is everywhere we look as we become more overweight, suffer from more inflammation, and increase in our numbers of type 2 diabetes. Everyone knows that sugar isn’t a healthy choice but it’s also no surprise why we can’t seem to quit sugar — it’s addicting. And when something is addictive, it’s hard to succeed without a highly effective replacement to retrain your taste buds. So whether you’re looking to ditch sugar altogether or want to wean yourself off, below are some foods you can (and probably should) keep on hand any time a sugar craving hits. It’s also best to ditch all your sugary treats in your house because no amount of willpower can help you if you keep them around to haunt and taunt you when those cravings come a’ calling.
Now, restock your pantries with some of these healthy options. They’re full of certain minerals like magnesium, zinc, and calcium that reduce stress that can offer trigger cravings and they also have a naturally sweet taste. Some of the options for your fridge are also great since they’re loaded with a natural sweet taste and packed with antioxidants from fresh produce.
These seven foods are your new besties for cravings — it’s time to get cozy with them!
1. Baby Carrots
Yes, yes, yes, carrots are seen as a diet food, but if you’re trying to beat a sugar craving, baby carrots are an easy grab and go option that is a natural source of sugar. Even if you ate a whole cup, you’re loading your body with produce, vitamin C, tons of magnesium and potassium, not to mention fiber that will keep you full and lower your blood sugar.
2. Dark Chocolate (90 percent or higher)
Dark chocolate is packed with magnesium, possibly even being the highest source we have access to on a daily basis (coffee is another super powerful source). Dark chocolate is also loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and iron, so it’s a guilt-free food you can enjoy in small portions. But before you reach for the milk chocolate, hold up — you want to go with especially dark chocolate that is at least 90 percent or higher. Look for organic and vegan options if you’re looking to avoid dairy and GMOs found in conventional chocolate, but any brand will do as long as the cacao content is high enough. One little tip: if you can, opt for raw cacao nibs or raw chocolate which is lower in sugar and even healthier for you. Enjoy 1 ounce a day, even with a small glass of red wine if you please!
3. Frozen Berries
Frozen berries are great to just pull out of your freezer and munch on and you don’t have to worry with them going bad or washing them before you enjoy them. These perks are key to keeping you from saying you don’t have time to prep and enjoy them. Plus, they actually get a bit sweeter as they freeze, so keep frozen organic berries in any variety you like stocked. Next time the craving hits, either eat these alone or blend them with your choice nut butter with some nut milk for a naturally sweet smoothie.
4. Grape Tomatoes
Another antioxidant-packed produce choice that really hits the spot are baby (grape) tomatoes. These are much sweeter than their larger counterparts and so easy for popping on a whim. When you get those sugar cravings that typically hit right around 4-5, enjoy a half pint of grape tomatoes instead. These little guys are packed with potassium, vitamin C, the antioxidant lycopene, and are a great source of fiber, vitamin B6, and even the amino acid L-glutamine!
Whether you prefer them raw, roasted, or sprouted, raw almonds are fantastic for combatting sugar cravings. They’re an excellent source of protein, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and several vitamins including vitamin E and some B vitamins. Just be sure you watch the portions and don’t eat half a pound and ruin your dinner. Around 23 nuts is one ounce and provides the perfect portion to hold you over until your next meal. To sweeten them up a bit, sprinkle on a little cinnamon for a delightful healthy treat.
Another nut you’ll want to keep on hand is cashews; they even come in the convenient 100 calorie packs like almonds do now. You can keep these in your bag during the day at work, at the office, or even in your pantry at home when those cravings hit. Cashews are one of the best sources of dietary magnesium, vitamin B6, and protein in the nut family which makes them a great nutritional choice for combatting hunger and stress-related sugar cravings. Remember, sugar cravings are often a cry for nutrients, so nourish your body and you’ll beat them naturally.
Finally, bananas are an easy option to beat sugar cravings, especially in the beginning. While they are very high in sugar, they’re also high in fiber, magnesium, vitamin B6, and even vitamin C. This means they’ll satisfy your appetite, lower your blood pressure and blood sugar, and will calm those cravings by tricking your body into thinking it’s had a naughty treat. While an avocado is a better source of these nutrients, let’s be honest: when your sweet tooth hits, what sounds better to you?
Here’s one final tip for beating those sugar cravings before they even start: start your day with greens. No matter how you do it whether it be a smoothie, a veggie-based omelet, or even cooked greens in rice (if you’re into macrobiotics), starting your day out with greens floods the body with magnesium, chlorophyll, B vitamins, and provide naturally grounding properties. They also support adrenal health, which are typically out of balance when sugar cravings are a regular, intense occurrence.
Anyone can beat sugar cravings, but don’t forget to eat a balanced diet with plenty of produce, healthy fats, and protein. After that, your body will have what it needs and the cravings will be easier to resist. Good luck and let us know if you have a tip of your own that worked for you!
Lead image source: Homemade Probiotic Cashew Yogurt