Almost everyone gets a craving for some sugar here and there, but when your desire for sweets becomes non-stop, it's time to figure out what other foods to eat instead. It can seem tempting to satisfy your sweet tooth with some dessert, but there are other healthy foods to eat when you're craving sweets. The urge for sugar can be overwhelming, but if you feed your body the right foods, it can alleviate your cravings without causing the negative health effects of too much sugar.
"Studies have linked excessive sugar intake to a slew of health problems, including weight gain, obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes cavities, cancer, heart disease, and mental health," says Katie Cavuto, RD over email.
Despite these risks, it's common for people to crave sugar regularly. "From emotional triggers to biological responses and genetics, you might say we are hard-wired to enjoy the sweet stuff," says Cavuto. "Our emotional and biological preferences for sugar are exacerbated by the fact that most Americans over-consume sugar which can be found in the majority of packaged foods on the market."
If you have frequent sugar cravings and want to cut down on the sweet stuff, try eating one of these six healthy foods instead, which will leave you satisfied without consuming too much sugar.
1. Veggie-Based Carbohydrates
"Sweet potatoes. butternut squash, and carrots are a great choice when you are craving something sweet," says Cavuto. "Their natural sweetness, which is concentrated if you roast them, paired with their nutrient density and high fiber content makes them [an ideal option]."
"Coconut is rich in satiating fats, and it has a naturally sweet flavor," says Cavuto. "Munch on unsweetened coconut chips or shreds or consider adding them to oatmeal and smoothies."
Dates make a healthy snack choice when you need a little sugar rush. They contain only five grams of sugar, but they are also high in fiber and other healthy vitamins and minerals, making them a better option than a piece of candy.
"Cinnamon works wonders for quenching sweet cravings," says Cavuto. As an added bonus, cinnamon can help lower your fasting blood glucose levels, according to a study in the Journal of Medicinal Food.
"Berries are naturally sweet, all the while boasting the lowest amount of sugar in the fruit category," says Cavuto. "They are jam-packed with fiber and immune boosting vitamin C."
6. Dark Chocolate
If you're a chocoholic, try opting for the dark variety instead of milk. Dark chocolate 70 percent or higher not only contains antioxidants, but it helps lower blood pressure as well, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
There's nothing wrong with satisfying your sweet tooth here and there, but stick to these healthy options when you find your sugar cravings kicking in more often than you would like.
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