If you exclaimed ‘oh yes’ to this, you are like me–a lover of things sweet. There is no doubt about it: Sugar feeds your body’s pleasure centers, and satisfies the very soul. But the truth is, sugar is linked to metabolic problems and even cancer. And Americans get more than 355 daily calories from added sugar. The recommended limit as set out by the American Heart Association is only 100 calories per day for women and 150 for men.
Most of us know this, but when dinner is done and the craving for sugar kicks in, it is hard to resist. That’s when you need the right tips and treats to keep yourself from biting into a sinful dessert. Here are some I have found really useful:
- Wait for 15 minutes after a meal. The urge to eat something sweet is strongest just after you have finished your main course. But give it a little gap, and it passes. Do something to engage yourself for those 15 minutes–take a walk, maybe, or lie down and listen to some soothing music.
- Make sure you are eating enough protein. According to Ayurvedic physician John Douillard, sugar cravings are your body’s way of telling you to boost up your protein intake.
- When baking, use fruits and spices such as cinnamon and cardamom to sweeten food instead of refined sugar.
- Dark chocolate. It contains antioxidants which decrease blood pressure, improve heart health, and lift your mood. For a deeper flavor and more satisfaction, add a few walnuts to the chocolate. Limit yourself to 2 squares at the most, because dark chocolate is also high in calories.
- Just a few frozen grapes. They taste like popsicle and make that sweet tooth very happy!
- Low-fat frozen yogurt, with fresh fruit chopped and tossed in. I use sweet, juicy fruits such as mango, pineapple and strawberries to make this so that there is no need for sugar. You can add some granola, crushed nuts or graham cracker crumbs to this homemade parfait for an even yummier flavor and more nutritive benefits.
- Ricotta or cottage cheese, whisked in a blender and drizzled with a little honey. Add crushed cardamom pods and/or a little saffron to create a sweet delight that gives you calcium and better immunity, without the calories!
- A digestive biscuit, smeared with marmalade, and eaten slowly! Or, two graham crackers with peanut butter–instant protein boost.
- Fresh fruit. It doesn’t get any simpler–and tastier.