Sugar is a complicated thing—on the one hand, our brains require glucose to function, and not consuming enough carbs can lead to a host of issues such as low blood sugar, fatigue, and heart palpitations. On the other hand, too much sugar can be just as detrimental to our health, especially when that sugar comes in the form of refined, highly processed foods. So what should we do when sugar cravings strike? Read on to learn more about what causes sugar cravings and some tips for how to curb them.
What Causes Sugar Cravings?
The most common culprit behind sugar cravings is simply imbalanced blood sugar levels. Consuming large quantities of sugary foods, especially on an otherwise empty stomach, causes your blood sugar to spike and crash rapidly, leading the body to crave more sugar to maintain energy levels. Emotional factors also shouldn’t be overlooked, as stress triggers the release of hormones that are known to increase sugar cravings.
How to Reduce Cravings
To keep blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day, make sure that your meals include plenty of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Not only will this make a big difference in reducing the intensity and frequency of sugar cravings, it’ll also help you feel fuller for longer so you’re less likely to turn to sugary treats in the first place.
If you still feel the urge to snack, swap cookies and candy with naturally sweet alternatives like fruit or dark chocolate. with higher cocoa content. For stress-related cravings, try practicing mindfulness techniques such as meditation and deep breathing to help manage emotional triggers.