Sugar cravings may be a habit, kind of a comfort food and a very pleasant way to end a meal. Sugar cravings may also be due to low serotonin levels and depression. We may crave the taste of sweets or we may crave the effect of sugar on our brain.
Why Sugar is a Problem
Sugar has calories and no nutritional value and when it is used in treats and desserts, the calories can add up fast. Many sweet desserts and candies contain unhealthy amounts of saturated and trans fats too.
The extra calories mean extra weight gain and obesity. As our sugar consumption has gone up in North America and elsewhere, so has our rate of obesity.
Is Some Sugar OK?
Sure. Mypyramid.gov allows us to have a few discretionary calories each day. However, if you are overweight or obese, you might wish to decrease your total calorie consumption.
As long as you are at a healthy weight, enjoying an occasional high calorie sweet treat won't hurt you, but it shouldn't become a daily habit. BMI calculator
Healthier Ideas for Sugar Cravings:
Get some exercise.
You may feel better if you go for a walk or get some other type of exercise.
Exercise will stimulate brain chemicals that will improve your mood.
Sugar cravings may lessen if you decrease the number of calories you eat each day, so if you are eating too many calories, cut back.
Don't keep high calorie sweets in the house.
Don't skip meals, which can make cravings worse.
Keep your meals simple. The more side dishes and flavors you include in your meals, the more likely you are to overeat. When your brain is faced with several flavors, it takes longer to reach satiety, which means you will eat too much before you satisfy your cravings.
Choose healthy side dishes with a sweet taste. Perhaps if you satisfy your taste-buds' need for sweet flavor during your meal, you won't fall for a big dessert afterward. Fruits and some vegetables are naturally sweet and offer vitamins, mineral and other important phytochemicals. Dressing up your carrots with a little honey glaze may keep the sugar cravings at bay later.
Another option is to choose main dishes with a sweet flavor. Make sure to use recipes that aren't over loaded with sugar and stay away from high fat and fried foods.
Last of all, you can go ahead and have a little dessert or a sweet treat, but choose wisely. Choose low fat desserts that use fruit as the main ingredient. The sweetener should only be added as a condiment, or as a minor ingredient.