Eat These Foods to Reduce Sugar Cravings
By Rachel Carver
From frozen fruit to condiments, sugar can be found in many things. Candy bars at store checkout counters and bottled soda at gas stations make it easy for us to get our sugar fix.
You can consume a healthy dinner and then find yourself wanting something sweet. Many factors can trigger this craving, including, lack of sleep, feeling thirsty, or hedonic hunger (choosing to eat to feel good instead of to feel full).
Why Do We Crave Sugar?
Sometimes, even the site of a sugary food can excite the reward circuit of the brain. Tasting the sweet treat causes the brain to release dopamine, a pleasure hormone.
In addition to flooding the brain with dopamine, too many sweet treats can increase sugar cravings. The brain eventually needs more sugar to achieve the same pleasure threshold of previous cravings.
Fortunately, you can keep sugar cravings in check by focusing on eating whole foods. Incorporate these foods into your diet to consume less sugar and to give your body key nutrients such as protein, healthy fats, and fiber.
Almonds can help keep your blood sugar steady, decreasing sugar cravings. The heart-healthy fats in these nuts keep you full longer, reducing the likelihood of grabbing something sweet between meals because of decreased energy. Prepare sandwich baggies with a handful of almonds to snack on at the office, or add them to your salad or oat meal.
Avocados contain healthy monounsaturated fats and can also keep you full longer. They also give you much needed fiber. Add an avocado to your toast, or mix some in with your salads or smoothies.
Fresh or Frozen Fruit
Fruit juices and dried fruit are packed with sugar and lack fiber. However, fresh whole fruit contains high amounts of fiber, which causes sugar to be released more slowly. One cup of raspberries only gives you 5 grams of sugar. These berries -- as well as blackberries and strawberries -- are great fruit options. They are low in sugar but still give you some sweetness. Blend berries into a smoothie.
Cheese is high and protein and the amino acid tyrosine, which helps the brain release transmitters such as dopamine. It is a great snack between meals and can balance your blood sugar.
Eggs are a satiating and inexpensive protein and fat source. They also give you important nutrients such as choline, Vitamin D, and B vitamins. Boil some eggs for a quick breakfast. You can also add them to salads and casseroles packed with vegetables.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fort Mill, S.C.