woman looking a cakes craving sugar

Sugar cravings can be a real challenge when trying to maintain a healthy diet and we've all been there.

In this blog post, we will explore what to eat when those sugar cravings strike, offering a variety of options that are not only tasty but also beneficial for your overall health.

The Devastating Effects of Sugar On The Brain

Why We Crave Sugar

It has been demonstrated that sugar affects the brain in a way that is comparable to a drug that is addictive. In fact, abruptly cutting it out of your diet can result in withdrawal symptoms like fatigue, depression, headaches, and aches and pains.

Researchers discovered in 2016 that processed foods, particularly those with added sugar, can lead to habit-forming behaviours.

According to Susan Moores, a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant in St. Paul, Minnesota, the taste of sugar also releases endorphins that make us feel calm and relaxed and provide a natural "high."

Why Does It Become A Problem

The problem comes up when we eat too much, not when we have a sweet treat once in a while. When sugar is added to a variety of processed foods, such as breads, yoghurt, juices, and sauces, this is easily done.

A blood sugar imbalance is a common cause of sugar cravings. Your blood sugar levels increase after consuming sugar, and insulin is then released to bring them down to a safe level.

Your body craves foods that will raise your blood sugar and give you more energy if the insulin lowers it a little too much, as is frequently the case.

Blood Sugar Levels

illustration of blood sugar highs and lows after eating high and low GI foods

You are riding a roller coaster of blood sugar peaks and troughs, and getting off is challenging. To keep your blood sugar level stable, you must eat foods that stop your body from releasing too much insulin.

The key to maintaining blood sugar balance is to eat foods that limit the release of too much insulin, as opposed to trying to quit sugar "cold turkey."

To Ward Off Cravings, Use The 12 Foods Listed Below As Your Starting Point.

1. Make your own green smoothie at home rather than purchasing one at one of those kiosks. A good place to start is with kale, green apples, organic honey, and water. The numerous benefits of kale and its high vitamin C content will reduce your craving for sugar.

photo of green fruit and veg juice from a juicer

2.  Looking for something to eat after dinner? Instead of candy, consider fermented vegetables. If Korean kimchi is too hot for you, try making a crunchy and delicious carrot/jicama mixture instead. Jicama is a favourite of those following the Keto diet because there are so many different ways to eat it, such as in Jicama fries.

3.  Just like jicama, sweet potatoes can be made into fries. Sweet potatoes are very nutritious and taste great when baked whole and eaten, or when flavoured with a little cinnamon. 

4. Eat nutritious nuts and seeds like chia seeds and walnuts. You can snack on them or include them in any kind of salad you want to eat for lunch.

Just keep in mind to leave out the prepackaged salad dressings. Pick olive oil or balsamic vinegar.

avocado salad sprinkled with nuts

5.  Eggs are a good option, even though you may not have considered them as a sugar substitute. One or two boiled eggs will help keep your stomach full and ward off food cravings when eaten for breakfast or as a snack after dinner. For flavour, sprinkle a little paprika or black pepper on top.

6.  It's not just the sugar that many people can't stop eating, but also the crunch of their favourite chips or chocolate bar.

Grapes are a much better alternative to those sugary foods. Grapes are naturally sweet and crunchy, so they can satisfy your sweet tooth without resorting to processed alternatives.

7. Change to dark chocolate if you're finding it difficult to cut back on sweets.

Due to its high antioxidant content, which benefits the heart, and high cocoa content, this chocolate is regarded as being healthy.

According to scientific research, unlike the processed sugar found in cookies and other sweets, it may also be good for the brain.

a pile of dark chocolate chunks

8.  You can satisfy your sweet tooth with plain Greek yoghurt.

If desired, you can include a few pieces of fruit. Fruit-topped or flavoured yoghurts should be avoided because the fruit is not fresh and extra sugar is usually added. 

9.  Dark berries, such as blueberries and blackberries, have the sweet flavour you crave and are also very healthy due to their antioxidant properties.

Just consume them sparingly. Instead of eating a whole bowl of berries in milk, it is best to eat a handful.

10. People who want to live healthy lifestyles are very fond of avocados.

They can be used to make avocado ice cream, smoothies, or even just eaten on their own. 

3 avocados one cut in half of green background

They truly are a fantastic sugar substitute and one of the best foods to eat while on a sugar detox. As you may know, people frequently include avocado in their main meals, whether it be in a salad or as a slice on top of a homemade hamburger.

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What To Expect

Hold on tight if you are a sugar addict and you want to wean yourself off. 

It's simple, but not easy! Remember, your brain loves sugar. 

You will most likely experience drug-like withdrawal symptoms for several days (or longer). 

The cravings will probably take a lot longer, especially if you miss a meal. After that, some of the bad routines and desires will slowly fade.

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