Giving up sweets can be one of the hardest things to do when trying to live a healthier lifestyle.
We spoke to dietitian Nhluvuko Ngobeni about healthy food alternatives for a sweet tooth, and below is what he said.
When most people feel sugar cravings, they tend to reach for high sugary foods like chocolate. However, changing out the junk foods for some fruit could give you the sweet one need and helps to stop cravings. Fruit is naturally sweet but also contains lots of beneficial plant compounds and fibre which is good for one’s health. To make sure you feel satisfied try to eat fruits which are slightly higher in sugar such as grapes and mangoes.
Sugar free chewing gum
Chewing gum can be the best way to control ones sugar cravings. Gum that are made with artificial sweeteners taste sweet but contains a minimal number of energy and no sugar.
Legumes like lentils, beans and chickpeas are good plant based sources of fibre and protein. As a matter of fact one cup of lentils provides one with around 18g of protein and 16g of fibre. Both of these nutrients are thought to increase feelings of fullness. As result legumes in the diet could assist one to feel fuller and reduce hunger driven sugar cravings.
Sweet potatoes are nutritious, sweet and very filling. They contain mostly carbs but also fibre and a number of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, Vitamin C and potassium. Some people get sugar cravings, reason being they are not eating enough throughout the day. As a result adding a carb source like sweet potatoes in the meals can combat this by adding energy to your meals and making them more balanced ,all while providing the sweet taste you’re craving.
Yogurt is a healthy snack that’s high in protein and rich in calcium. Some studies indicates that yogurt could be a good snack to help regulate appetite and control your craving. The healthiest choice for yogurt is one that contains live cultures and is free of added sugar.
Meat, poultry and fish
Including a source of protein like meat, poultry or fish in your meal may assist to prevent sugar cravings. Eating adequate amount of proteins may be very important for managing your food intake, cravings and weight. The proteins helps to keep one full and prevent cravings for sweets.
While eating vegetables may not be satisfying when experiencing an acute sugar cravings, including them in your diet regularly could be helpful. Vegetables are high in fibre and low in energy. They also contain lots of beneficial nutrients and plant compounds. As a result adding more vegetables to your meal could help fill you up and prevent you from getting sugar cravings due to hunger.