Sugar cravings can waylay your best dietary plans and lead to spikes in blood sugar levels that cause fatigue, irritability, and anxiety. There are many reasons why we crave high-calorie sweets. Stress, poor diet, dehydration, and even hormonal changes can lead to unhealthy hankerings.
But consuming high-quality foods can offset these desires according to Everyday Health. Here are the best choices:
• Berries. These low-glycemic fruits provide plenty of sweetness without spiking blood sugar levels, says Dana Elia, a registered dietitian, nutritionist, and a full-time faculty member at the Maryland University of Integrative Health. Berries also have a high-water content and are fiber-rich, which helps you feel fuller, longer.
• Avocados. One study found that replacing refined carbohydrates with fiber-rich avocados helped suppress hunger, increased meal satisfaction and limited insulin and blood sugar spikes. It also reduced the risk for Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in adults with obesity or who were overweight.
• Pistachios. While all nuts contain protein, fiber, and healthy fats to help curb sugar cravings, pistachios stand out because research has found eating them is associated with a decrease in consumption of sweets, as well as weight loss.
• Sesame seeds. Seeds have healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, as well as fiber, which combat sugar cravings, says Everyday Health.
• Quinoa. Quinoa is often regarded as a whole grain, but in fact, it, too, is a seed. It’s rich in antioxidants and is naturally gluten-free with lots of fiber. A cup of quinoa as a side dish, or added to soups and salads, is a great sugar fighter.
• Oats. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health says that fiber-rich oats help stave off hunger and help lower glucose levels and curb sugar cravings. But steer clear of highly processed instant oats that also contain sugar. Stick with old fashioned rolled or steel cut oats.
• Beans and lentils. For superior plant-based protein and filling fiber, there are few better choices than consuming beans and lentils. They help regulate blood sugar levels and fend off sugar cravings.
• Hummus. Chickpeas, like lentils, are in a food group called pulses and when ground with tahini make a delicious spread called hummus. Use hummus to fight sugar cravings by spreading it in sandwiches instead of mayonnaise or as a dip with vegetables.
• Olives and olive oil. The healthy unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in olives and olive oil help you feel fuller longer and reduce sugar cravings.
• Non-starchy vegetables. Indulge in low-glycemic vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, spaghetti squash and Brussels sprouts. They all have filling fiber to keep hunger at bay.
• Sweet potatoes. Elia says that sweet potatoes cooked with the skin are a super source of fiber that helps stave off hunger and offset insulin spikes.
• Greek yogurt. Getting enough protein at every meal can help reduce sugar cravings. Elia says that consuming a combination of the right protein and fat can sustain you until the next meal. A cup of Greek yogurt has a whopping 20 grams of protein which makes it an excellent food to fight cravings. Choose varieties that don’t have added sugars or artificial sweeteners, as these can drive sugar cravings.
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