Do you have to enjoy something sweet after your meals? Do feel like your meal is incomplete without that sugary bite? Or, do you crave sugar in the afternoon as your energy wanes? You’re not alone. Many people feel “addicted” to sugar, or powerless to overcome their sugar cravings.
Since added sugars contribute extra calories without much nutrition, eating too much of the stuff can greatly increase your risk of becoming overweight or obese and developing diet and lifestyle related chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Did you know that the average American adult consumes 19.5 teaspoons of added sugar each day? This is far above the World Health Organization’s recommendation of no more than 6 teaspoons per day. If you’re tired of feeling controlled by sugar, and are ready to kick your habit for good, follow our simple tips for reducing the amount of added sugars in your diet and reprogramming your taste buds to crave tasty whole foods.
Eating Tips to Help with Sugar Cravings
1. Eat balanced meals. Do your best to make sure that each meal you consume has a nice balance of lean protein, healthy fats, and whole grain carbohydrates. If you find yourself craving sugar early in the day, try boosting your protein content at breakfast. Consider eating eggs with sweet bell pepper on a toasted corn taco, instead of bread or switch out your traditional low-fat plain yogurt for low-fat Greek yogurt which has higher protein content. If you crave sugar late in the day, boost your protein at lunch along with plenty of vegetables and include a fruit. By consuming all three macronutrients your body needs, you will be more satisfied during and after the meal, reducing the likelihood you’ll reach for the candy jar later. Here are some great examples of easy balanced meals:
2. Enjoy a variety of flavors. Try to include salty, sweet and umami tastes at a meal to increase satisfaction. For example, try my recipe for an Easy Green Lunch featuring sautéed vegetables, kale, beans, and feta cheese. The sauté is drizzled with Bragg’s liquid aminos and balsamic vinegar for a salty-sweet umami kick, and the cheese, beans, and kale are savory. Add Portobello mushrooms for an even more savory bite!
3. Choose whole food treats. When craving a sweet snack, first try riding out the craving wave for 15 minutes, if you still have it, opt for a whole food treat.
See more ways to Outsmart Sugar Cravings.
We work with registered dietitians and nutrition scientists to provide nutrition education and healthy eating tips to help create future healthier generations through good nutrition. Melissa's Healthy Living does not provide medical advice, medical nutrition therapy, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.
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