It can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere!
Despite being sincere about healthy and clean eating, we can sometimes get a sugar craving so intense, it takes a lot not to rush and order a large slice of chocolate cake. Sugar craving is as common and as natural as getting hungry at a certain time every day, or craving for coffee or water. However, it is not wise to give in to this craving for sugar whenever the need hits you, especially not if you want to lose weight or maintain a clean eating lifestyle.
The best thing to do would be to manage and satisfy your cravings with some healthy choices so that you either harm your body or deny yourself the simple pleasures of life.
Healthy Treats for Sugar Cravings
Here are some of the healthy choices you can make when a sugar craving hits but you don’t want to eat something harmful or unhealthy!
- Dark Chocolate
Yes, you read that right! Dark chocolate isn’t just allowed in a healthy eating habit, it is one of the best snacks you can eat during a sugar craving. However, this doesn’t mean that you should finish an entire bar of chocolate in one sitting, or have one every day. A small piece of dark chocolate with more than 70% cocoa is what’s healthy for your heart, full of antioxidants; more than that will only add to your weight as dark chocolate also contains fat and sugar.
Craving for chocolate is actually more common in women than in men, but its positive effects on our hearts are universal.
Some fruits are completely capable of satisfying your sweet tooth, especially bananas, mangoes, grapes, cherries, pomegranates, figs, etc. These fruits are full of natural sugar, but also with fibre, vitamins and necessary minerals, which make them a worthy snack.
However, even though fruits are good for you, you shouldn’t really overdo them every day. Bananas may be rich in potassium, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and fibre, but a single banana has 10.1 grams of sugar and 76 calories in it. More than a few bananas, or any other sugary fruit, every day could mean adding a lot of calories to your daily meal.
- Dried Fruits
Just like fresh fruits, dried fruits are also rich in fibre and natural sugar. Dried plums, peaches, apricots, strawberries, dates, prunes – these are the fruits that can be excellent snacks for your sugar cravings. Dried fruits have the exact nutrients as fresh fruits, without the water content. At the same time, only a handful of dried fruits can be an excellent source of your daily mineral and vitamin requirement.
- Snack Bars and Protein Bars
These bars – known most commonly as snack bars, protein bars, cereal bars or health bars – aren’t always the healthiest choice for food, but they are excellent for your sugar cravings. Most of these bars are made from whole grains, oatmeal, dried fruits, and nuts, and sweetened with sugar, maple syrup, coconut sugar or Agave syrup.
Look for protein bars that are naturally sweetened with dried fruits instead of honey or syrup; also, the more the amount of fruit in these bars, the better they are for your daily nutrition requirement.
- Yogurt with Nuts/Berries
This is one of the most delicious and nutritious snacks you can have, anytime during the day. The combination of yogurt with berries and/or nuts will give you a bowlful of nutrition that is also filling. You won’t need to add sugar or syrup to your yogurt because the berries will provide the sweetness you need for your craving.
A bowl of Greek yogurt is a high-protein snack that combines well with the nutrition of berries and nuts – giving you a snack that will fill your stomach and control both your hunger and your sugar cravings.
Fruit smoothies can be excellent for breakfast and snacks, or at any time during the day. You can use any of your favourite fruits and berries in a smoothie, as well as a teaspoon of honey to sweeten it. The more variety of fruits you add to your smoothie, the better tasting it becomes, and the more nutrition you get from it. Adding a banana or a few blocks of mango to the smoothie will make it sweet enough so that you don’t even have to add honey or syrup.
It is always better to add fresh fruits to your smoothies instead of fruit juices, as you get the fibre from these fruits instead of just the nutrition and the sugar.
- Trail Mix
You can buy trail mixes by the pounds in a shop or make your own at home, but they are excellent snacks for you to carry in your bag for whenever you are hungry or in need of a sugar fix. Trail mixes usually consist of dried fruits and nuts, containing high doses of natural sugar, fats, proteins, vitamins, iron, and fibre.
Some of the store-bought trail mixes are also sweetened with honey or artificial sugar, so it will be much better if you make them at home using your favourite mixture of fruits and nuts. This way, you can add more nuts to the mixture if that’s what you like the most, instead of raisins and dried berries, because these are the ingredients that are the highest in sugar.
- Sweet Potatoes
Potatoes might be extremely fattening, but sweet potatoes, surprisingly, are one of the best snacks for your health. You can bake sweet potatoes and they’ll taste just like French Fries, thus fulfilling not just your cravings for sugar, but also for fried food.
Sweet potatoes contain a lot of carbohydrates, but they are also complex carbohydrates with plenty of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and potassium. They give you the energy to be active in your day and exercise more; sweet potatoes are just as flexible as regular potatoes for cooking, baking, and frying.
There are, of course, some foods, drinks, and actions, that can help you control your sugar cravings:
- Drink green tea,
- A spoonful of Chia seeds in water,
- Boiled Eggs,
- Drink a glass of water,
- Take L-Glutamine
- Sleep a little,
- Get Active.
Sugar cravings are normal in everyone’s lives, and it is possible to control them without taking bad decisions about your health. There are a lot of healthy snacks – even chocolate – that you can eat whenever you feel the need for sugar in your life, and not gain a lot of weight or put your health in danger. We learned of several options here in this article, so you are free to make your choices.