Having a sweet tooth is common, and so is the craving for sweets. Sugar is often considered unhealthy and it is associated with many chronic diseases. Do we actually know what are cravings and what are the reasons behind those? If you want to know what causes sugar cravings, it means you are already a victim of the evil white crystal! Don’t worry we will try to explore natural substitutes of sugar for your cravings.
The more we try to keep ourselves away from consuming sugary food, the more our brain longs to have it, even if it is a small piece of chocolate. What happens when you consume a small piece of sweet to convince your brain that you have had enough? Your brain urges you to have more and more until you have actually had enough, thus creating a vicious cycle of sugar dependence.This brings us to the fact that we can’t avoid having sweet stuff especially when we loved it at one point of time.
So, how can we satisfy our sense of taste and send signals to our brain that we have had enough sweets for the day and maintain healthy diet? It’s simple! You always have healthy substitutes for everything in this world. So now that you are aware of what causes sugar cravings (what are the reasons behind craving?) , next time when you find yourself craving for sweets, grab any of these from the list mentioned below:
Full of natural sugars and other plant based nutrients which includes fiber thus helps you to stay full for a longer period of time. So, next time instead of reaching for high fat and sugary desserts full of calories, reach out for a fruit of your choice and see how satisfied and full you feel.
2. Dark chocolate
We often experience chocolate cravings and grab a bar which is high in added sugars. However, replacing regular chocolate bars with dark chocolate could be a healthier alternative. Dark chocolate contains more than 70% cocoa and a compound called poly-phenol. The antioxidant and anti inflammatory effects of this compound helps to improves heart health. Well, every food is healthy in moderation. Thus, even dark chocolate should be limited to few squares at a time.
3. Protein bars
Make some homemade bars with dried fruits, nuts and rolled oats. It is the best option that gives instant boost to energy levels and at the same time curb sugar cravings. Try to avoid protein bars that comes ready-made in the market as they have high sugar content.
4. Sugar-free gums
Gums made with artificial flavors and no added sugars have negligible calorie count and curbs your sweet cravings. Mint flavored guns also helps in controlling hunger and in avoiding frequent eating.
5. Dried fruits
Such as, dates, raisins and berries apart from giving sweet taste to your tongue gives required nutrients (such as iron, zinc, potassium, fiber and other compounds to the body) These nutrients are necessary for the body to function on daily basis. However, keep in mind that dried fruits are high in natural sugar and are healthy only in controlled portions.
Rich in protein and calcium which helps in curbing sweet cravings along with dairy cravings. Yogurt topped with some dried fruits and nuts add extra taste and crunch. It controls appetite and is good for stomach health as it aids digestion. Make sure you choose a a yogurt free of sugar.
7. Sweet potatoes
Sometimes we crave sugary food just because we are not eating enough throughout our day. Sweet potatoes are high in carbs and fibre thus gives boost to energy levels and keeps us full for longer time. These are packed with vitamins and minerals including potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C.
8. Smoothies and Shakes
Some of us don’t like consuming whole fruits, so here’s an option to be explored only on one condition – “Avoid adding extra sugar to your fruit smoothies and shakes.” The sweetness of the fruits together with the creamy yogurt or milk gives the best satisfaction to your sweet tooth. Make sure you use whole fruits and not just the juice to retain healthy fiber. It can be topped with some dried fruits and nuts for a crunch. However, having fruits is still a healthier option.
Who doesn’t want to enjoy a piece of cake on their birthday? Or that variety of sweets your mom cook on festivals! Having your favorite sweet is absolutely fine if it is occasional, but if you find yourself craving for sweets regularly, these 8 options can be considered absolutely healthier.