Sweet-toothed Brits are being given advice on the best foods to snack on to fight their sugar cravings.
Health and nutrition experts from Prepped Pots powered by MuscleFood.com have named the top eight healthy alternatives to sugary treats.
Many Britons struggle to stick to a healthy diet, giving in to their cravings and reaching for high-calorie desserts or treats whenever they want to satisfy their sweet tooth.
Sugar cravings are often not a sign of hunger, but instead, it’s the brain yearning for dopamine and instant gratification.
These cravings can be linked to stress, unhealthy habits, hormonal changes, dehydration, and nutrient deficiencies.
Consuming an excess amount of sugar leads to spikes in blood sugar, which explains why people find it hard to stop once they’ve started snacking on sweets and end up over-indulging.
To keep the cravings at bay, people are advised to swap their unhealthy snack choices with nutritious alternatives high in protein and fibre.
Ashleigh Tosh from Prepped Pots powered by MuscleFood.com said: “It’s difficult to cut sweets out entirely, so it’s fine to include them in your diet in moderation.
“However, if you get sugar cravings frequently and tend to binge, you should consider swapping the sugar-filled treats out for healthier options that fill you up for longer and won’t hinder your health goals.
“It’s good to be stocked up on these healthy alternatives so you can easily grab them as soon as the craving strikes.
“Foods like fruit, yoghurt and dark chocolate will give you the sweet flavour you’re looking for without spiking the blood sugar levels and ruining your diet.”
Here are the top eight foods to tackle sugar cravings from the team at Prepped Pots powered by MuscleFood.com:
Berries are a great natural way to curb your sweet tooth. Unlike processed sugars, the natural sugars found in berries won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar levels. This means that you can enjoy the sweetness of berries without experiencing the crash that often follows when you consume too much sugar. Berries are also packed with fibre, which keeps you feeling full and satisfied for a long time.
Eating sweet fruits like pineapples, peaches, mangoes or bananas will give you the sweet fix you’re craving. They’re an excellent source of fibre, loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, and nutrients you need for good health.
- Greek yogurt and kefir
Another reason behind your sugar cravings could be an unhealthy gut. Eating fermented foods like Greek yoghurt and kefir can heal your gut and control your appetite. Yoghurt and kefir are both rich in protein and make a delicious and quick snack when topped with fruit, berries, or low-fat granola.
- Dark chocolate
Chocolate lovers can opt for dark chocolate as a healthier option. Dark chocolate is better for you because it contains more cocoa and less sugar. Research showed that its bitter taste and smell help control consumption. Because it’s still quite high in calories and fat, it should be eaten in moderation.
Dates have a very sweet flavor so they will definitely satisfy your sweet tooth. They’re high in healthy nutrients, including fibre, potassium, iron and plant compounds. They’re also a natural source of sugar, which means that having some dates instead of chocolate or sweets after a meal will help you avoid a sugar rush.
- Protein bars and snacks
Healthy high-protein products like bars, crisps, and cookies are handy when you need a quick snack on the go. Because they’re so rich in protein, they’ll keep you feeling full and satisfied longer compared to regular snacks.
Nuts are a good source of healthy fats and protein, which can help you feel full and satisfied, reducing the likelihood of snacking on sugary foods. Additionally, some nuts, such as almonds, have a naturally sweet taste, which can help satisfy your sweet tooth without consuming processed sugars. Nuts are high in calories, so stick to a serving of around one handful.
To keep the cravings away, include some oats in your diet, as they’re packed with soluble fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Oatmeal topped with some berries, nuts, seeds or fruits is one of the healthiest breakfast meals you can have. A hearty breakfast gives you energy throughout the day.