A sugar craving is a strong urge to consume sugary foods or beverages. This is attributed to emotional stress, boredom, or sadness to trigger sugar cravings, release dopamine and alleviate negative emotions. Regular consumption can lead to dependence on sugary foods as a form of comfort, leading to a cycle of craving and consumption. This cycle leads to unstable blood sugar levels, mood swings, and energy fluctuations throughout the day. Excessive consumption of sugar, can also cause chronic diseases, dental problems, abnormal cholesterol levels, and excess abdominal fat. To minimize the harmful effects of sugar it is therefore important to opt for naturally sweet unprocessed foods. Here are 20 foods to help manage sugar cravings.
Enjoy nature’s sweetness with fresh fruits such as berries or watermelon. They offer a naturally sweet taste without added sugars or artificial sweeteners and help prevent spikes in blood sugar levels providing a gradual release of energy and satisfying sugar cravings.
Dried Fruits such as apricots or raisins can be an alternative for a naturally sweet flavor. They offer a naturally sweet flavors and fiber that help slow down the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream, promoting better blood sugar control.
Compared to milk chocolate, dark chocolate has a high cocoa content and minimal added sugars. It relies on the natural sweetness of cocoa to curb sugar cravings and prevent overeating. It also contains compounds that may enhance mood and stimulates the production of “feel-good” hormones.
Greek Yogurt can be enjoyed with a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of cinnamon. Greek Yogurt, without the need for refined sugar, can be drizzled with honey, a natural sweetener that also helps reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. The probiotics in Greek Yogurt helps maintain a balanced gut microbiome.
Smoothies are blended fruits with unsweetened almond milk or yogurt and are nutrient-packed, naturally sweet beverages with a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. Smoothies are a convenient option for those often on the move providing hydration.
Creamy chia seed pudding is combines chia seeds, unsweetened almond milk, and a dollop of nut butter or honey, offering a host of nutritional benefits. This pudding has minimal or no added sugars with a range of vitamins and minerals.
Pureed fruits or yogurt, depending on your preference, can reduce sugar intake, providing a healthier alternative to traditional ice cream. It also provides a dose of essential nutrients while also satisfying your sweet tooth. This is vegan-friendly and gluten-free sugar-free “nice cream” with a mix of texture and flavor.
Rich in plant-based protein, peanut butter provides a quick and convenient energy source. The carbohydrates in peanut butter energy release and can help with your craving for sweet snacks.
Freeze grapes are naturally sweet and refreshing guilt-free snacks with a high-water content that keeps you hydrated. Freezing the grapes intensifies their sweetness, also providing a burst of flavor. Whether you prefer green or black grapes, it gives a cooling sensation while regulating your sugar intake.
Applesauce for a naturally sweet gluten-free and vegan, making it a healthy alternative to sugar in pancakes or oatmeal. It is also easy to digest, making it an ideal choice for individuals with sensitive stomachs.
Naturally caffeine-free and sweet, chamomile tea is an aromatic beverage made from the dried flowers of the chamomile plant. It also soothes the digestive system, helping to protect against common illnesses. The terpenoids in this tea protect the body against harmful free radicals and stomach cramps.
Granola is packed with oats, seeds, and a touch of honey, is an excellent choice for fueling an active lifestyle. The honey or maple syrup, the natural sweeteners in granola bars, are free of artificial sweeteners, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Unlike processed chocolate products, they are typically low in sugar, reducing the sugar intake while still enjoying the rich taste of chocolate. Cacao Nibs have an intense chocolate flavor and are the purest forms of chocolate, without any additional processed sweeteners. It also promotes the release of “feel-good” hormones improving mood.
Apples are a wholesome, naturally sweet fuss-free dessert promoting feelings of fullness. The fragrant aroma of baked apples creates a welcoming atmosphere. With a dollop of honey, baked apples can be a delicious alternative with a sweet taste. It also has nutritional value protecting the body against oxidative stress and inflammation, contributing to overall health and well-being.
Dates are naturally sweet containing fructose and glucose, providing a quick energy boost. Dates are also rich in essential vitamins and minerals, maintaining healthy bones and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
For those who cannot consume dairy products and crave sugar, coconut yogurt, added with a drizzle of honey and fresh fruits, provide a creamy and delicious alternative to traditional sugars. This naturally sweet option is vegan-friendly and contains antioxidants protecting against cellular damage in the body.
Maple Syrup is a sweetener naturally derived from maple tree sap. It has a lower glycemic index causing a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels. It can be drizzled over waffles, used in baking, or incorporated into salad dressings, creating a caramel-like taste with a touch of sweetness.
Vanilla Extract is a great choice to add a sweet flavor to recipes without adding processed sugar. It also enhances the taste of other ingredients providing an aroma and flavor unparalleled compared to synthetic alternatives, creating a more harmonious culinary experience.
A byproduct of sugar, this thick and dark syrup is derived from the refining process of sugarcane, making it a natural alternative to regular sugar thus reducing sugar intake. It is a popular choice in coffee or tea. It also contributes to overall nutrient intake, alleviating constipation and improving gut health.
Add slices of fruit to your water to make a subtly sweet and refreshing sugary beverage. To make fruit-infused water, add slices or chunks of fruits to a pitcher of water and let it sit for a few hours or overnight to allow the flavors to infuse. It is also a refreshing way to incorporate more fruits into your daily diet.