It’s tough to resist sugar. We’ve all been there, forgoing for hours only to give in to that one delicious brownie, feeling defeated and full of regret.
People with sugar cravings tend to think a lot about sugary foods, especially those that contain chocolate.
For example, a study found that 86% of people who had cravings often thought about high-calorie foods.
The good news is that certain healthy foods can help stop sugar cravings.
And below is a comprehensive list of the top 20 foods to help you with the cravings.
What Does Sugar Cravings Mean?
Many sugar cravings are the result of blood sugar irregularities.
Sugary foods can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, leading to a release of insulin to lower it to a safer level.
When insulin makes your blood sugar level low, your body craves foods that give it more energy and increase its performance.
In this way, when people experience wanting to eat more even after satisfying their hunger, it is a sugar craving.
But before showing you the solution, let’s see the effects that high sugar consumption can cause you:
Side Effects of Overeating Sugar
Excessive sugar consumption can lead to:
In turn, the ups and downs of sugar levels perpetuate cravings.
According to a study, consuming a lot of sugar increases the risk of:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Certain types of cancer
It is advisable to limit added sugar consumption to a maximum of 10% of your daily calorie intake.
Now let’s see what could be causing the sugar cravings:
What Causes Sugar Cravings?
Many times, people confuse thirst with hunger, leading them to consume high-calorie foods.
2. Poor Diet Quality
Consuming more carbohydrates than protein and healthy fats can increase hunger and sugar cravings.
According to research, the consumption of probiotics and prebiotics balances the bacteria in the gut, which prevents cravings.
3. Hormonal Changes
According to the Hormone Health Network, estradiol levels rise during the menstrual cycle. Research has found that estradiol is linked to increased cravings.
One study found that women with higher estradiol levels consumed more foods high in carbohydrates and experienced more sugar cravings during the menstrual cycle.
A study found that chronic stress has a direct effect on food cravings.
Thereby, this is so because sugar consumption releases dopamine, known as the hormone of happiness.
5. Nutrient Deficiencies
Mineral deficiencies can also lead to sugar cravings.
According to a study, magnesium deficiency increases stress and anxiety, which causes the urge to consume sugar.
20 Foods To Help Stop Sugar Cravings
Berries provide sweetness without spiking blood sugar.
In addition, berries have high water content and provide fibers, which prolongs the feeling of satiety.
Half a cup of avocado provides about 8 grams of fiber.
According to a study, replacing refined carbohydrates with avocados helps suppress hunger and avoid blood sugar spikes.
Pistachios provide protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
One study found that eating pistachios helps reduce sugar intake, which leads to weight loss.
4. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds provide us with healthy fats and fiber, which help fight sugar cravings.
A tablespoon of sesame seeds provides us with 1.1 grams of fiber.
5. Chia Seeds
Just 1 ounce of chia seeds provides us with more than 4 grams of protein and almost 10 grams of fiber.
According to research, the consumption of chia seeds prolongs the feeling of fullness and reduces cravings.
This seed helps prevent cravings because 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa provides 4 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber.
However, avoid consuming instant oatmeal as it usually has added sugar.
8. Beans and Lentils
According to a study, replacing rice and potatoes with lentils helps to reduce blood glucose levels after meals significantly.
Half a cup of hummus gives us 10 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, and healthy fats.
Thus, this makes hummus an excellent option for the need for sugar.
10. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil increases the feeling of fullness and balances blood sugar levels.
However, since coconut oil is saturated fat, you should moderate its consumption.
11. Olives and Olive Oil
According to research, consuming unsaturated fats (such as those found in olives) helps reduce blood sugar levels and improves insulin resistance.
12. Non-starchy Vegetables
A study investigated thylakoids (components present in green leafy vegetables) and found that they enhance the feeling of fullness and reduce sugar cravings.
Thus, this may be because green vegetables have a lot of fiber.
13. Sweet Potatoes
A medium sweet potato provides us with 4 grams of fiber.
For that reason, it is beneficial to prevent sugar cravings.
14. Greek Yogurt
According to scientific research, the consumption of proteins prolongs the sensation of health and reduces sugar cravings.
Greek yogurt is beneficial since 1/2 cup gives us 9 grams of protein.
15. Meat, Poultry, and Fish
Another rich source of protein is meat, poultry, and fish.
Opt for organic foods so that the protein level is higher.
It is beneficial because a large egg contains 6 grams of protein and 13 essential vitamins and minerals.
Cheese is valuable because it provides us with protein and fat.
However, it would be best if you consumed it in moderation because it is high in calories.
A tablespoon of spirulina gives us more than 4 grams of protein. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals that help fight cravings.
In addition, spirulina provides us with tyrosine, an amino acid that reduces the need to consume sugar.
19. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is preferable as it provides antioxidants and polyphenols.
In addition, being high in magnesium, dark chocolate also acts against sugar cravings.
20. Medjool Dates
The Medjool dates are high in potassium, fiber, and polyphenols. Two dates give us 3.2 grams of fiber.
Thereby, this makes them an excellent option to replace sugar.