Craving cookies, ice cream, or candy? These foods will curb your sugar cravings—STAT. They’re packed with satiating healthy fats, blood-sugar balancing fiber, and vitamins and minerals that your body needs to be its healthiest self. After all, sugar cravings are typically a sign that your body isn’t getting enough of the energy it really needs and is instead begging for that quick hit of energy that comes from simple sugar.
Related Reading: What You Should Know About the Sugar-Carb Connection
Here are the foods to turn to when your sweet tooth starts acting up:
Fats are the most satiating macronutrient; they contain 9 calories per gram and take longer to digest than carbs and protein, so they keep you fuller for longer. If you’re going to consume fats, make sure it’s the healthy kind like those found in olive oil, nut butter, and seeds. Fat bombs are a great way to get a healthy dose of fats (in the form of a delicious snack) and avocado is another great source of fat as well as fiber. (You can even use it in dessert, like this Dark Chocolate Avocado Mousse recipe.)
Speaking of fiber, most Americans—97 percent to be exact—are deficient in this nutrient. Fiber is typically known for keeping your digestion regular but it also helps feed our healthy gut bacteria and also keeps blood sugar stable, so it’s essential for preventing sugar cravings in the first place. As we already learned, avocado is a great source of fiber but other high-fiber foods include chia seeds, lentils, oatmeal, and almonds. Try this Slow-Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal recipe.
If you’re craving a candy bar, the last thing you want to be handed is an herb. But the truth is, herbs can pack a powerful punch against sugar cravings. For example, cinnamon has demonstrated the ability to increase insulin sensitivity immediately after consumption (and the effects lasted 12 hours!). Try sprinkling cinnamon on your oatmeal or even better, try this Cinnamon Bun Fat Bomb Bars recipe from Ditch the Wheat.
Of all the foods on the planet, leafy greens are probably the healthiest. They’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help your body function at optimal capacity. Greens like spinach and swiss chard also contain high levels of magnesium, a mineral that plays a critical role in blood sugar regulation. Try this Swiss Chard with Lentils and Feta Cheese recipe or a Basil Spinach Hummus recipe the next time a sugar craving hits.
Related Reading: 13 Snacks with Less Than One Gram of Sugar
Dark chocolate contains plenty of healthy ingredients, but one important one is a flavonoid called epicatechin, which has demonstrated an ability to reduce blood sugar in diabetics. Not sure what to buy? Try one of these cleanse-friendly dark chocolate bars.
Next time you find yourself craving a quick hit of sugar, try eating one of the foods above. Even better, make sure your diet is full of these satiating and blood sugar-friendly foods in the first place. The best time to prevent sugar cravings is before they start!