The Best Protein Sources To Fight Sugar Cravings
Consider adding more healthy proteinsincluding plant-based proteinto your diet, and keep your kitchen stocked. The best protein source to fight sugar cravings might be legumes . These are particularly effective at fighting sugar cravings because, unlike meat and dairy, these protein sources deliver the double benefit of protein plus fiber, which also reduces sudden jolts in your blood sugar.
A list of healthy proteins includes:
- Legumes: Lentils, beans, chickpeas, tofu, tempeh, peanuts, green peas.
- Whole grains: Oatmeal, brown rice, wild rice, buckwheat, seitan.
- Nuts and seeds: Quinoa, chia seeds, hemp seeds, almonds, pumpkin seeds.
- Lean grass-fed meat, fish, and dairy: Skinless chicken or turkey, extra-lean ground beef, fish, eggs.
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Avoid Foods With High Sugar Content
The best way to control sugar cravings is by avoiding sugary foods such as sodas, fruit juice concentrates, and baked goods. Make your juices at home, replace sodas with lemon water, and always read the labels before buying any similar product. Opt for food items with less than 10 grams of sugar per serving.
Keep Your Meals Diverse
Make sure you incorporate all food groups when you prepare a meal. According to Nutrition Stripped founder, McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN, people donât realize theyâre what theyâre missing in their meals and it could be detrimental. âIâve found in my practice that often people crave sugar because of generally imbalanced diet as a whole,â she says. âAt mealtimes, they might be missing out on enough fiber to keep them physically full or can be lacking enough protein to keep them satiated, or enough healthy fats. All the macronutrients work together to keep our blood sugars stabilized and keep us satiated so we need them all.â
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Herbs And Natural Ways To Stop Sugar Cravings
Ginger provides many benefits when it comes to health. For sugar cravings, ginger is known to cleanse the palate so that you wont have to crave something sweet anymore. It further helps alleviate digestive issues and detoxify the organs.
How to use: Adding ginger to your teas, stir-fries, and other recipes is the best way to naturally introduce ginger to your diet.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about knowing how to stop sugar cravings naturally is probably cinnamon. The spice has a naturally sweet taste that can substitute for sugary foods. However, what makes cinnamon the best weapon against sugar cravings are the polyphenols it contains. This substance helps in controlling the blood glucose level, which in turn reduces sugar cravings.
How to use: Just like ginger, you can simply add cinnamon to your diet when you sprinkle it on foods, teas, and even fruits.
A natural detoxifier, turmeric has become one of the worlds renowned spices with its many health benefits. Adding turmeric to your diet helps remove environmental and dietary toxins that may affect your blood sugar levels. It also helps lower bad cholesterol levels and inflammation. You can make turmeric tea using turmeric powder and other helpful ingredients such as ginger.
How to use: You can add some cloves to your tea and other drinks. You may also sprinkle it on fruits, veggies, stews, and sauces.
Apple Cider Vinegar
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Is Sugar Bad For You
It is not so much about sugar being good or bad.
Things can get a little confusing, so lets break it down.
First, you should understand that there are different types of sugars. To keep things simple, you should focus on natural sugars and added/processed/refined sugars.
Natural sugars are found in whole, unprocessed foods, like fruits, vegetables, and dairy. These are the sugars in your apples, oranges, bananas, and cheese.
Two names you should become familiar with: Fructose and Lactose. Fructose is a natural sugar found in fruit. Lactose is a natural sugar found in animal dairy products.
Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared. Cakes, cookies, pies and ice cream all have added sugars.
Eating and drinking too much added sugar could lead to tooth decay, obesity, type II diabetes, heart disease, and weight gain just to name a few.
The most important thing you need to know is that your body breaks down natural sugars and added sugars in different ways. Natural sugars have good stuff like vitamins, antioxidants, and water.
Whole fruits have a lot of fiber, which slows down your bodys digestion of sugar and helps you avoid a sugar crash. Added sugars in the other hand, have little to no nutritional value.
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Ways To Conquer Sugar Cravings
by Bex Weller
Oh boy, did I love sweet treats when I was a kid.
Captivated by all manner of lollies and chocolates, I was next-level excited about the prospect of getting more. I remember hiding little boxes of sweets under my bed like some kind of sugar-obsessed squirrel, and feeling infinitely more calm knowing my secret stash wouldnt run out anytime soon.
Even throughout my teens, I was infatuated, and would quite happily have eaten a chocolate bar over a meal, any day of the week.
In many ways, I wonder if sugar was my first addiction.
I certainly remember my sugar journeys lowest point. I was twenty-three years old and had begged my then-boyfriend to stop on our way home so I could buy a chocolate bar.
Annoyed with me, he refused at first. Just a day earlier, Id sworn off sweets altogether in an attempt to lose the additional pounds that had decided to throw a party on my hips.
But ohhhh, how I begged, and pleaded, and swore it was just this one last time
Setting his face into a grimace, he pulled into the carpark and I sprang out of the car with the kind of adrenalin driven by pure desperation. Inside the store, I quickly snatched three chocolate bars and made for the register.
What! he exclaimed in hot pursuit, as he attempted to grab them from my hands. One, not three. Put them back.
No! I hissed, as I clung to them for dear life.
Seeing the look on my face , he let go. Filled with shame, I fought back tears as we made our way through the checkout.
Never Eat A Treat Hungry
Being hungry and reaching for sugar is a recipe for disaster. Sugar just doesnt do a good job of filling you up. Those treats are usually high in fat and calories and should never be used to satisfy your hunger.
If you need to eat a healthy snack first, do it.
- Reach for vegetables that are high in fiber
- Or a hard-boiled egg that is high in protein
- Drink a glass of water
Those foods do a great job of filling your belly so you wont feel like you need to eat more.
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Eat A Substantial Amount Of Protein Every Day
Women need around 46 grams of protein every day, while men need 56 grams of protein depending on their weight and age. This means you should eat a meal with at least 20 grams of protein, 3 times a day. Proteins are essential for satisfying hunger for longer periods of time and help your body repair muscles for proper functioning.
Go For Quality Not Quantity
You dont need to give up sweets altogether. In fact, many dietitians and nutritionists recommend satisfying sugar cravings with a little bit of sugar. The important thing here is the quantity. If your body is craving something sweet, do reach for a decadent snack, but keep it small, eat it slowly, and savor each bite. If you indulge in large portions of sugar-filled treats, this will only trigger even more cravings in the future.
The best options for suppressing your sugar cravings are natural sources of sugar or sweeteners. These are easy to find. For example, dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate. Or try sweetening some Greek yogurt containing little to no added sugar with honey or fruit. Bananas also work well as natural sweetener and can be used in baked goods and smoothies. Importantly, replace all your usual sodas and energy drinks with flavored carbonated water. We promise, your body will adapt quickly to the changes and youll start enjoying the difference in no time.
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An Imbalance In Blood Sugar
Another reason to crave sugar is if you have reduced glucose levels in the blood.
Sugar in the form of glucose acts as fuel for different cell functions. When the glucose supply is insufficient, the body will send hunger and sugar cravings as a signal to provide it a quick sugar boost.
This is especially common if your diet is full of processed foods and lacks fiber. Fiber controls the release of sugar, while processed foods will cause an immediate spike and fall in sugar, again causing you to crave sugar.
Know Your Food Triggers
Just thinking about your favourite foods can set in motion a range of physiological responses, as your mouth starts to produce saliva and your stomach prepares for digestion.
Cravings also lead to a surge in the hormone insulin. This then lowers your blood sugar levels, which makes you feel hungry, and you end up thinking you want a certain food even though you dont actually need it.
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Main Challenges When Trying To Get Rid Of Sugar Cravings
- Sugar improves the taste and flavor of the food it’s added to
- We often associate sugar with nice memories or special occasions, eh Christmas, birthdays, romantic relationships, etc
- We are often given sweets as special treats, both as children and adults
- Sugary foods improve our mood because they trigger the release of serotonin, the feel-good hormone
Sometimes Its Possible To Create Changes In Life To Get These True Cravings Met:
- Leave or speak up in a relationship that isnt working for you
- Read a book that teaches skills to communicate differently to people that leave you feeling angry/taken advantage of
- Find more creative ways of rewarding yourself
- Change your job, or negotiate different conditions.
If its possible to make the change then do so, and notice what happens to those sugar cravings. But sometimes it feels impossible to make these big changes and we can feel very stuck. Often just the insight of what you are truly craving loosens the grip of power that it has over you. So rather than saying to yourself, Whats the matter with me, I just cant resist sweet food, you can instead start to see the craving as an attempt to get an important inner need met. You can begin to have a different conversation with yourself, Ah I see, Im craving this sugary food because of XYZ.
Sugar doesnt have to be the enemy, to be battled. When we switch our mind-set to see the sugar as an attempt to take care of ourselves, we can start to think creatively about our choices. Think of a child you know. Yes, they might want to keep eating sweet food until theyre sick, but as a parent, you likely allow sugar in moderation, and then engage them in a distracting activity that will appeal at least as much. What might be your equivalent? After all, as adults we too need a good balance of work, rest and play.
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Take A Hot Bath Or Shower
A small study in the UK reported that soaking in a hot bath for an hour lowered blood sugar levels in sedentary, overweight males who were unable to exercise. This was a small study and limited in its findings, but it does suggest that taking a hot bath or shower may be more than just a relaxing thing to do. That said, exercise caution if you plan to try this at home make sure the water temperature isnt hot enough to cause injury and make sure someone is at hand if you need assistance.
Prepare Alternative Foods To Eat
If you cant help yourself to break your sugar habit, prepare alternative foods to eat so that, when sugar cravings strike, you have something to eat. Instead of eating sugary snacks, try some healthiest foods such as apples, blueberries nuts, strawberries, dried fruit, or yoghurt. These alternative foods can curb your cravings for sweets and provide you healthy nutrition.
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Why Do You Crave Sugar
From ice cream and cake to cookies and candy, sugar has found its way into just about every food imaginable. But its not just the sweet treats that you crave bread, chips, starchy vegetables, and even savory meats have been coated with sugar or otherwise enhanced with extra sugar to make them more appealing to your taste buds.
But why do we crave sugar so much? Lets take a look at some possible explanations below.
Other Things That May Work
I am pretty sure the three steps above would work for most people to shut down a sugar craving.
But of course, the best option by far is to prevent these cravings in the first place.
To do that, toss all out of your house. If you keep them within close reach, youre asking for trouble. Instead, keep healthy foods within easy reach.
Also, if you eat healthy and exercise several times per week, chances are you wont get cravings nearly as often.
Here are 11 more useful tips to stop sugar cravings:
Numerous other methods may help you overcome a craving for sugar. These include drinking a glass of water, getting good sleep and eating high-protein foods.
Sugar Substitutes You Need To Try
For a sugar detox, you need to find some alternatives to satisfy your sugar cravings. This can be a fruit smoothie or a frozen yogurt bark recipe. Whatever you try, stay away from refined sugar. Refined sugar is far more harmful than natural sugars found in raw honey and fruits, and it can be as addicting as drugs.
Honey has a plethora of benefits including being antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. It also reduces the risk of cancer and helps fight infections. Whether you have a sore throat or digestive problems, honey can fix seemingly everything. Replace refined sugar with honey in your recipes and feel the difference. Not only will it satisfy your sugar craving but also improve your immune system in the process.
When you feel the sugar rush coming, dont reach for chocolates or brownies. Fruits like berries, mangoes, bananas, and apples have plenty of natural sugar in them and will satisfy your sweet tooth easily without causing any damage to your body. Snack bars made from oats, dates, peanut butter, dark chocolate, and honey are also a good option for a quick dose of sugar.
Sweet potatoes are a rich source of vitamin A and vitamin C. They taste sweet and are pretty filling too. Besides containing a variety of minerals, theyre also high in fiber which promotes gut health and digestion. People trying to lose weight often eat sweet potatoes to control their hunger.
Youre Feeding Your Sugar Cravings
Another reason you may have sugar cravings is that youre eating in a way that brings them on. The more sugar you eat, the more you get a dopamine surge, and the more your body craves that surge and the satisfaction and reward it brings. The key to taming sugar cravings is to gradually cut back on the amount of sugar you eat and replace it with unprocessed foods that nourish and satisfy.
Choose offerings that are high in protein and fiber to keep your blood sugar balanced and sugar cravings in check. If you cut back on sugar slowly, it wont be as difficult. Just as you can wire your brain to crave sugar, you can rewire it, too, by making healthier replacements. It wont happen overnight but, with patience, it will happen.
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Eat Protein And Fiber At Each Meal
We all know how important protein is to our diet, but making sure we have enough at each meal is also helpful for staving off sugar cravings. âEat protein and fiber at every meal! This is the most important tool you could have on your plate,â says Brooke Alpert, RD, and author of The Diet Detox. âBoth protein and fiber help to slow down the absorption of sugar to prevent any blood sugar spikes which would make you crave more sugar. Plus, they help keep you fuller longer, leaving you more in control over your food choices and less likely to dive into that cupcake!â
Give Your Mouth Something To Do
Another great way to stave off sugar cravings is to give your mouth another distraction. Whether it’s chewing sugar-free gum, drinking a cup of warm herbal tea, or just doing something else, allow the craving to pass. “Allow enough time to pass while you drink or wait for the piping hot tea for you to think through the craving,” Moreno says. Most cravings last no longer than 30 minutes.
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