Kick Your Sugar Cravings to the Curb!
We try to eat healthy and stay away from treats, right? But often, even after a satisfying meal, sugar cravings hit hard. If we give in and eat something sweet, signals get fired off to our brains to release dopamine - a neurotransmitter responsible for intense feelings of pleasure. Overeating sugary foods not only floods our brains with dopamine, but it also creates a nasty pattern of sugar cravings. In just a short period of time, our brains start craving more sugar to reach the same threshold of pleasure it once got from small amounts of these pleasure-inducing foods. It doesn’t help when Halloween is just around the corner, radio announcers on every station are discussing their favourite treats, and chocolates and candies line the checkout aisles at local grocery stores (I presume everywhere else is as bad as Kamloops?).
So, what to do when the sugar cravings take hold of us? Choose something lovely and satisfying that won’t lead to more sugar cravings. Here are three delicious options:
Full of heart-healthy fats, almonds can help control blood sugar, which help to keep sugar cravings in check. These healthy fats also help keep you feeling full longer, making it less likely you’ll dip into other food sources. Just remember they are also high in calories, so limit your snack size to around 20 almonds.
Unlike dried fruit and fruit juices that are high in sugar and low in fiber, fresh fruit like raspberries provides a great source of fiber that allows for the slow-release of natural sugars. With only 5 grams of sugar per cup, raspberries are a low-sugar fruit (along with blackberries and strawberries at 7 grams each). If eating berries fresh doesn’t do it for you, try blending frozen berries with half a frozen banana to create a thicker frozen texture similar to soft-serve ice cream.
Celery & Nut Butter:
Celery goes from a 1 to 10 when you fill it with your favourite nut butter, AND the fiber from the celery paired with the protein and healthy fats from the nut butter makes for a sustained energy source. (Always try and pair fiber, protein and healthy fats as they are digested slowly and gradually release energy over time, thereby keeping you fuller longer!)
Lastly, remember that you are stronger than you think you are. You are not at the mercy of your cravings; every time you say NO to them, you win. If you’re someone who is struggling with sugar cravings, give one or more of these options a try, say no to those foods that want to de-rail your healthy living journey and let me know how it goes for you!