7 Surprising Foods to Eat When Craving Sugar

woman eating chocolate with text overlay foods to eat when craving sugar

We all have certain food cravings from time to time. While occasional cravings are harmless, sometimes we get stuck in one of those phases when we crave sugar, maybe just a little too much. You’ll be surprised to know how common sugar cravings are. According to the National Library of Medicine, about 97% of women and 68% of men experience cravings for different food items, including sugar. Furthermore, a study published by Appetite found that 86 percent of people who had food cravings mostly craved high-calorie foods, especially those containing sugar. 

These numbers show that sugar cravings are common enough, but why exactly do they happen? How do they affect our bodies, and what can we eat to fight these cravings? In this blog, we’ve answered these questions and more. 

What is a sugar craving?

Have you ever been offered a piece of cake when you were on a diet? If you’re prone to having sugar cravings, the chances are that you just couldn’t say ‘no’ to it, even when you really wanted to. If you feel a sudden strong urge to eat something sweet and have no control over yourself, you are probably experiencing a sugar craving. 

Why Do We have Sugar Cravings?

There are many reasons why we have sugar cravings, and you’ll be surprised to find that there is a bit of science behind them!  

To some degree, our bodies have evolved to crave sugar. As we use glucose (a simple sugar) as our primary source of fuel, our body is naturally more inclined towards sweet foods. Thus when we consume sugar, our brain’s dopamine system is activated, releasing dopamine- the ultimate reward chemical. This acts as positive reinforcement for our sugar consumption, basically meaning that the more sugar we consume, the more we feel rewarded and the more our body craves it to get to that feeling again. 

While a big part of sugar cravings is natural, there are some major diet, environmental, and lifestyle factors (such as stress, hormonal imbalance, and poor nutrition) that can exacerbate your sugar cravings even more. Whichever the case, sugar cravings sure can be tough to fight. But with so many health problems associated with overconsumption of sugar, it’s important not to let these urges get the best of you. Below, we have covered some ways you can actually curb your sugar cravings! 

What Foods to Eat When Craving Sugar 

As irresistible as those cravings might feel, there are many different foods you can consume to help fight your sugar cravings. Below is a complete list of some healthy foods you can consume to regulate your blood sugar, fill up your stomach and keep sugar cravings under control! 

Photo of strawberries in small containers - what to eat when craving sugar
  1. Berries 

With the perfect amount of sweetness and nutrition all in one, berries are the ultimate healthy snack to counter sugar cravings. From raspberries and strawberries to blackberries and blueberries, berries are a low glycemic fruit, which means they’re sweet without increasing your blood sugar too much. They also have very high fiber content and have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Have berries on your oatmeal, a delicious berry lime smoothie, or even raw berries as a snack whenever you feel those sugar cravings kick in. 

  1. Dark Chocolate 

Chocolate is one of the most highly-craved foods. If you’re someone who frequently craves chocolate, you can swap out the sugary, milky chocolate for a darker alternative. Use dark chocolate with more than 70% cocoa, as this contains much less sugar and is rich in healthy polyphenols. 

Woman holding open a cut up avocado on the table - surprising food to eat when craving sugar
  1. Avocados 

A study suggests that substituting refined sugar with avocados can help suppress hunger and prevent blood sugar spikes. When your blood sugar and insulin levels are well-regulated, you will experience fewer cravings. This makes avocados the perfect healthy alternative food for when you’re craving sugar. It is also extremely rich in fiber and healthy fats, so incorporate it into your diet through salads and smoothies or make some delicious avocado toast! 

  1. Greek Yoghurt 

Protein-rich foods promote the feeling of fullness even in smaller portions and can help fight food cravings. Greek yogurt is highly rich in protein (half a cup offering about 9g), making it a great food to curb sugar cravings. Make sure to use sugar-free and additive-free Greek yogurt. Add in berries and nuts to add texture, natural sweetness, and some substance to make you feel fuller. 

Medjool dates on a table
  1. Dates 

Dates are not only naturally sweet but also highly nutritious, serving as an excellent alternative to processed sugar snacks. They are a great source of fiber, iron, and potassium and serve as a great sweet fix for when you’re craving sugar. You can munch on them as a snack or make a date puree to incorporate into many recipes. 

  1. Oats 

A Harvard University study notes that oats are rich in soluble fiber, with can help manage blood sugar levels and reduce hunger, thus preventing excessive sugar cravings. Mixing oats with some berries and nuts can make you a healthy and delicious breakfast that is filling and nutritious. Make sure to avoid packaged oats, though, as those often contain preservatives and additives that are high in added sugars. 

Sweet potates stacked in a box
  1. Sweet Potatoes 

If you’re looking for some healthy carbs to swap out added sugar in your diet, sweet potatoes are the way to go. They are nutritious, sweet, and filling and are also rich in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin A. Incorporating sweet potatoes into your meal can make them more balanced and keep you satisfied throughout the day.

The Bottom Line

Having the occasional sweet snack is perfectly okay, so make sure not to guilt-trip yourself for consuming sugar. Remember that sugar cravings are extremely common, and there are plenty of ways you can adjust your diet to reduce them and have delicious, nutritious, and balanced meals. If you’re someone who experiences consistent sugar cravings and is prone to giving in to them, these above seven foods are the perfect way to make your diet healthier and counter these cravings. We hope this helps, and happy eating! 

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