Added sugars are sugars and syrups that are added to foods during processing or preparation. These include table sugar (sucrose), high-fructose corn syrup, honey, and molasses. Added sugars are not needed for good health and can contribute to weight gain, which can increase the risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke. Added sugars also put you at risk for inflammation, a fatty liver, and tooth decay. No good!
Added sugars can be found in many processed foods, including cookies, cakes, ice cream, and candy. They can also be found in some foods that are considered to be healthy, such as yogurt, fruit juice, and sports drinks. The best way to avoid added sugars is to read food labels and choose foods that have less than 5 grams of added sugars per serving.
While you don’t have to completely get rid of added sugars, it’s best to eliminate them as much as possible, and focus on consuming a balanced diet. If you find yourself craving food items with added sugar, try to either find a healthier alternative, or at least balance your craving by adding something healthy alongside your craving. Here are a few alternatives for when you’re craving something sweet:
- Fruit, which is sweet but still nutritious. Berries are especially good as they provide an excellent boost of fiber.
- Granola bars, but the healthy kind: look for something made with oats or whole grains, and sweetened with fresh or dried fruit as opposed to sugar. Make sure to check nutrition labels, just because a granola bar “looks” healthy doesn’t mean it is.
- Chia seed pudding: Chia seeds are high in fiber and will help curb cravings, and you can make them into pretty much anything!
- Dates are an excellent way to get fiber, potassium, and iron, and can also be used to make so many different snacks!
- Greek yogurt is an amazing source of protein, and so customizable! To curb your sweet tooth, try Greek yogurt with some added in fruits, nuts, or chia seeds.
In conclusion, it is totally normal to crave sweets, but there are ways around it! Added sugars aren’t beneficial in any way and can actually create a lot of problems if you consume them frequently. If you find yourself constantly having cravings, it also could mean you’re lacking something in your diet, or that you may have a hormonal imbalance. Contact us here for a free assessment if you’re struggling with nutrition or hormones!