5 Filling Foods That Will Help Fight Off Sugar Cravings
Over the years, supermarket aisles have become flooded with food products rather than actual whole foods. As shown through the Standard American Diet (SAD), the availability of these processed foods have contributed to an increase of more packaged foods and added sugar intake, rather than fresh fruits; vegetables; and whole grains.
As a result, the increase in carbohydrate intake from added sugar has been shown to potentially wreak havoc on the body; leading to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, fatty liver disease, type 2 diabetes, and dementia. The cycle of craving carbohydrate (sugar) after carbohydrate is what contributes most to abdominal fat over time and varying energy levels throughout the day. This refers to something known as “refined carbohydrates” here, which includes your sweets, chips, cookies, cakes, white bread, white rice, and more. These foods offer no fiber, which is an important nutrient that helps with fullness.
Q: Does that mean that I should eliminate carbohydrates from my diet?
A: No. We want and NEED them at each meal, they are not the enemy. However, it’s important to be mindful of portions, check nutrition labels for added sugar, and begin to incorporate more filling foods at mealtime to curb these cravings in the first place. The filling foods mentioned below will offer fiber, which helps to slow down the body’s absorption of carbohydrate and keep you fuller longer. In a future post, we’ll go more into how to interpret a nutrition label.
Before we go any further - Know that there is no harm in enjoying an occasional sweet treat. In fact, we encourage it, as it encourages a positive relationship with food. A balanced diet is key in order to prevent feeling restricted.
Q: So, how can I fight off my craving for sugar?
A: The key is to opt for more nutrient-dense and filling foods on a regular basis. Nutrient-dense foods are whole food sources with little to no added sugar. Filling foods are fiber-filled options that will help to prevent you from reaching for more refined carbohydrates (such as craving a second treat or reaching for a 3rd or 4th cookie). Food has a direct impact on our energy levels, so by swapping out your everyday food choices for some of the foods below, you may be able to notice the true impact that food has on mood and health.
PS: By swapping some of your go-to packaged foods for more whole foods, your taste buds may change over the course of a few short months (yes, you may even crave vegetables). Staying on the outer ring of the supermarket should help achieve this.
Feel fuller longer and curb cravings by opting for these 5 fiber-filled foods:
A fiber-packed food choice that will help to keep you fuller longer and stabilize your blood sugar levels in order to prevent carbohydrate (sugar) cravings. A serving of this dish will have you feeling full and not reaching for a sweet treat right after.
Yes, fruit contains sugar, but the good kind. Berries are nutrition powerhouses that are both versatile and convenient. Pair a handful of blueberries or 4 large strawberries with a small protein or healthy fat source in order to 1) slow down the body’s absorption of carbohydrates; 2) keep you full longer; and 3) help to stabilize your blood sugar levels. Examples of a small snack to pair with berries includes 1 handful of raw nuts, 1-2 tbsp of nut butter, 1-2 hard boiled eggs, or 1-2 string cheeses.
Packed with fiber, heart-healthy fats, protein, 1-2 handfuls of raw mixed nuts will help to keep you energized and hold you over until your next meal. Better yet, pair raw nuts with a plain greek yogurt for an extra boost of protein for fullness. Learn more about the science behind some of the benefits of greek yogurt here.
One of our favorite plant-based proteins. The complex carbohydrates in chickpeas slow down absorption and digestion. This helps to satiate your hunger while providing your body with essential vitamins and minerals.
PS: Complex carbohydrates are the healthy go-to compared to refined carbohydrates. Examples of complex carbohydrates include whole grains, legumes, and starchy vegetables.
Greens are always a winner in our book! Some of our favorite fiber-packed green veggies? Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, and green beans.
Up for the challenge to swap your daily go-to’s for more fiber-filled options above? Keep us posted on your progress on social media:
Susan Stalte, RD LDN MBA-Candidate
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