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Experiencing sugar cravings is extremely common, especially for women. Those who have frequent sugar cravings feel a strong urge to eat something sweet and can find it difficult to control themselves fully around certain types of foods. Luckily, there are a few tooth-friendly foods that we recommend to our patients to take the edge off and help to fight your cravings.
Here are a few of our favorite options of what to eat when a sugar craving strikes.
Swapping out junk food for real fruit when you feel like indulging in something sweet can help you stop your cravings and get off the sugar cycle. Fruit is naturally sweet but also contains a lot of beneficial plant compounds and fiber.
One of the best foods for fighting cravings, in general, is nuts. Typically, nuts that are high in omega fats including almonds, cashews, and walnuts are recommended because of their high protein levels with no sugar. If you’re in search of one of the best foods to aid in improving your overall health than consider a handful of pain roasted nuts each day. Lastly, avoid salted nuts, as a diet high in sodium can promote sugar cravings.
Naturally sweet, yet high in fiber, berries are a nutritious choice for putting an end to your sugar cravings. If you think your cravings are linked to habit, rather than hunger, berries make an excellent choice for an alternative snack. Additionally, berries are rich in plant compounds and have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
If you find yourself craving chocolate and the urge is too strong to resist, you can make a healthier choice by choosing dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains more than 70% cocoa, and some studies show that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects can help improve your heart health. Dark chocolate is also the best sweet treat for your teeth because it is easily washed off by your saliva and water.
Avocados contain virtually no sugar, which is unusual for a fruit. A whole avocado is also only about 300 calories, which is great if you are also looking to trim your waistline. That being said, avocados do contain a lot of fat, but they are full of healthy fats that are mostly omega fats. Consider adding avocado to salads, on toast, or as a snack to help fight off sugar cravings.
Chewing sugar-free gum can be a great way to control your sugar cravings. Gum that is made with artificial sweeteners, like Xylitol, tastes sweet but contains a minimum number of calories and no sugar. Many studies show that chewing Xylitol gum helps to keep your teeth clean by removing harmful bacteria and stimulating saliva production.
HIgh in protein and rich in calcium, greek yogurt makes for a perfect healthy snack. Some recent studies have also suggested that greek yogurt could be a great snack to help regulate your appetite and control sugar cravings. The healthiest choice for yogurt is one that contains live cultures and is free of any added sugars.
These highly nutritious fruits are very naturally sweet and are a great source of fiber, potassium, iron, and beneficial plant compounds. Try pairing your dates with nuts such as almonds for a sweet and crunchy treat that is packed with protein and fiber.
While technically not a food, you should be consuming water as much as possible throughout the day. Water is the most abundant substance in the body, and when your body is dehydrated, your hormones trick your brain into thinking you are hungry when you’re not. When it comes to water consumption, the rule-of-thumb is to have about six to eight glasses each day, or about 64 ounces.
Outsmart Your Sweet Tooth
While having the occasional treat is perfectly fine, if you find yourself experiencing sugar cravings regularly or feel out of control around sweets, then it’s worth taking a closer look. Not only will reducing your sugar intake be better for your overall health, but your dental health will likely improve too.
Have any other favorite foods that can fight sugar cravings? Let Hoffman Dental Care know at your next exam. We love to learn from our patients!