Whether we admit it or not, most of us have a pesky little sweet tooth. Sugar cravings strike without warning and seem to appear out of nowhere. For most of us, that mid-afternoon energy slump makes our bodies demand sugar; more often than not, we’re all-too-happy to comply. It’s easy to reach for a donut or cookie to satiate that craving without realizing that actually feeding the problem only makes it worse.
Eating sugar sends an immediate rush of glucose into the blood, giving us an instant burst of energy. Unfortunately though, this rush is short-lived; and followed by a crash – and feelings of fatigue that leave us famished, exhausted, and looking for more food.
While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional dessert or treat at the end of a long week, if you find that you depend on sugar to make it through those long afternoons, you may want to find another way to gain energy and beat cravings. Eating a balance of healthy and nutrient-dense foods is important – not only for the waistline, but also for health, energy, and vitality. The right balance of carbs, fats and proteins are key to keeping full longer and maintaining steady energy levels throughout the day.
If you’re looking for some new and inventive ways to satisfy your sweet tooth without emptying the candy bowl, here are some healthy alternatives that just might work!
Slurp Some Yogurt
Yogurt is a great way to stop a sweet tooth in its tracks! Spruce up your yogurt by adding some granola or fruit, or consider freezing drops of yogurt on a cookie sheet for a longer lasting midday snack. Beware, though: not all yogurts are created equal. Look for a natural yogurt or one with real fruit. Watch out for yogurts that include aspartame – this artificial sweetener has been linked with sugar cravings!
Munch Some Trail Mix
Trail mix is a healthy way to curb your sweet tooth – and stave off hunger. Try custom making your own flavors by combining some of your favorite nuts, dried fruits and berries with a sprinkling of treats like chocolate chips or chocolate candies.
Eat Your Breakfast
Swapping out dessert with some cereal is a great way to please your sweet tooth. It can give you a small amount of sugar plus a little bit of protein to help keep you more full for longer. Most cereals are relatively low-calorie, yet sweet enough to satisfy your cravings. So go ahead and pour yourself a bowl of chocolatey goodness! Yum!
Freeze Some Fruit
Grapes, berries, chopped mango, and bananas make tasty frozen treats. These snacks are perfect for both satisfying a sweet tooth and cooling down on a hot summer’s day.
Savor Some Dark Chocolate
Got a vicious sweet tooth that you just can’t shake? Get yourself some flavorful, dark chocolate – at least 70 percent cacao – and indulge in a few squares. Dark chocolate is good for you... In moderation, of course! It has less sugar than regular milk chocolate and even has antioxidants. Pair it up with a few nuts like almonds, peanuts or walnuts for a extra satisfying snack.
The next time your sweet tooth comes knocking, treat it to one of these snacks. Who knows? Instead of having the urge to raid the break room at 3:30 in the afternoon, you just might find yourself craving these snacks instead!