Sugar cravings are an overwhelming desire to eat something sweet even when the stomach is not hungry. Typically, people turn to foods high in sugar and fat, such as chocolate, cookies, or soda. While it affects women more than men, both genders do overconsume calories in their quest to satisfy their urge for sweets.
Everyone can and should be mindful that many junk foods can be swapped out for healthier whole food items, even during fall when people are surrounded by pumpkin pies, apple pies, cinnamon donuts, and the like. Here are a few fall favorite fruits and vegetables to satisfy those sugar cravings!*
In general, all fruits are a healthy and satisfying alternative to sugary treats. Fruits are naturally sweet but also contain many vitamins, plant compounds - and most importantly, fiber. Fiber allows the body to experience sweetness in the form of nutritious foods. Apples are available late summer through late fall and serve as a fulfilling snack. While apples are fun to eat raw with yogurt or peanut butter, they also serve as a wonderfully warm, caramelized dessert when baked with cinnamon. Other fall fruits that can beat the sugar cravings are pears, pomegranate, cranberries, and plums.
Dates are the complete package when it comes to healthily satisfy sugar cravings. They are incredibly sweet with a dense, creamy texture. If you close your eyes, you might fool your body into thinking you are snacking on fudge! Dates are harvested in early fall and are used in many sweet and savory recipes this time of the year. As sweet as they are, dates are also rich in potassium, iron, and fiber. The nutrient density is what makes them a much better alternative to candy. The only thing to be careful of is portion size since two to three dates provide a lot of sweetness. Remember because of its richness, it's recommended to have one date per serving. Pair them with almonds for a sweet but balanced snack.
This popular fall vegetable is both sweet and nutritious. Not only do they do a great job fulfilling one’s hunger with their carbs and fiber, but they also provide vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. The reason behind many intense sugar cravings is not eating enough. Adding sweet potatoes to one’s diet can not only provide a touch of sweetness and energy for the day but prevent the craving for processed sugary foods. Whether baked, mashed, or diced, sweet potatoes are a great way to fill up and fuel up for the day.
While these are just a few fall favorite fruits and vegetables, there are plenty more foods that can fend off sugar cravings and prevent the consumption of excess calories. For example, prunes, figs, and dry cranberries are other sweet and nutritious options. Even healthy fats like almonds or avocados and lean proteins like white fish or chicken are great options for eating nutritious meals and avoiding sugar cravings. But with all of these healthy options, one cannot throw caution out the window. Read nutrition labels carefully and stick to the prescribed portion size. In the end, it's all about finding a healthy balance.
*Always make sure to consult with your Medi-Weightloss® provider to determine what healthy snack options are best suited for your individualized plan and specific program phase.