First, it’s Halloween and then it feels like non-stop holiday parties, office chocolates, sweets everywhere you turn. Before you know it, reaching for sweets become a habit and something you’re craving too often. If you have a major sweet tooth like us, then avoiding or reducing sweet snacks is HARD. Like jawbreaker candy hard.
The good news is that when you’re craving something sugary, it might be your body telling you that you actually need something else. Here are 5 different foods to run to the kitchen to instead of that triple chocolate mocha fudge caramel ice cream bar in the freezer.
Sometimes when we’re craving sugar it’s because we’re deficient in a certain mineral and our body is really looking for a source of energy. Phosphorus is used by our cells to make energy and filling our plate with phosphorus-dense might help alleviate what craving.
Broccoli, corn, cheddar cheese, turkey, sunflower seeds, and legumes are all rich in phosphorus but our favourite phosphorus-rich food that helps us get past our craving for sweets is peanut butter!
Another mineral our body could be craving is Magnesium when we’re wanting something sweet. Dark chocolate (look for 70-80% cocoa) is rich in magnesium but it’s also a source of antioxidants, Vitamin A, calcium, and iron. And it’s also associated with being beneficial for conditions such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, and hypertension.
Eating dark chocolate feels decadent so your body is likely to feel like it’s getting that sugary snack it wants while you’re really giving your body a food with some amazing health benefits!
You might have noticed that dates are a popular ingredient in smoothies, raw food desserts, or healthy sweet snacks. Dates are a natural and unprocessed sweetener that comes with the added bonus of being rich in fiber, calcium, and antioxidants. Because they’re rich in fiber, they’re a good food to aid with digestion
Like chocolate, dates can help trick your brain into thinking you’re snacking on something sweet when you’re really giving yourself something nutritionally dense. One of our favourite ways to use dates is to add them to our home-made granola bars!
Low glycemic foods are just a fancy way of saying low-sugar foods or foods that dump sugar really quickly into our bloodstreams. Often times these are exactly what we reach for when we’re craving something sweet but these are the foods spike your blood sugar levels quickly and leave you with a ‘sugar crash’ after. And some studies have found that they can cause us to over-eat. By looking for low glycemic foods you won’t be searching for your next sugar high hours after devouring your sweet. Generally, whole foods and nutrient dense foods will be low glycemic or you can look at a list of foods here.
We often crave sweets or dessert when we’re not feeling full and that could be because of a lack of protein in our meals. Protein gives us that full feeling (best paired with a healthy fat- grilled tofu and avocado sandwich anyone?). Protein also balances our blood sugar levels meaning we’re less likely to feel those intense sugar cravings.
Looking for more foods to help you achieve optimal health? Read our post on foods to help boost your memory here!