It's a far too common issue for many people, but there are some wonderful foods that fight sugar addiction that can make things easier. I know what life is like as a sugar addict. I was one until I gave sugar up for good 10 years ago. If you think life without sugar is miserable, I can promise you, you’re wrong. In fact, I can’t imagine going back to my old lifestyle, and if I could tell everyone one thing to give up from an unhealthy diet, it would be sugar. Yet, as you know, sugar is addictive, and like a drug, therefore giving it up isn’t easy. The best weapon you have? Eating certain foods that fight sugar addiction will do most of the hard work for you. I understand how hard it is to give up sugary foods, but I found the best thing to do was to eat to fight my cravings. Just be sure you choose these foods below, and your sugar cravings can be beaten!
Protein is hands down one of the top most important foods types that fight sugar addiction. The body uses the amino acids from protein which work to stabilize your blood sugar, and helps ward off cravings. It also helps to build lean muscle tissue, which is important for a healthy metabolism. Be sure to get between 15-20 grams of protein at all your meals.
2. Green Vegetables
At every single one of your meals, include at least one green veggie. When I first started my sugar-free life, I hated veggies, so I know how tough this is. I started my day off with an egg omelet, so I added just 2 stalks of chopped asparagus and ¼ chopped red bell pepper. Those were the only two I liked at first. Eating those daily helped me get used to the taste of veggies, and I actually learned to like them. Replacing my morning cereal was hard, but vegetables were key for turning my tastebuds around. All green vegetables and leafy greens are high in chlorophyll, which fights sugar to its core! Trust me, when your body starts to run off green fuel, you’ll wonder how you ever even liked sugar. These foods help turn your taste buds around, and they balance your blood sugar levels since many are high in chromium, a B vitamin that fights off sugar cravings before they start. Add in any green veggie, or leafy green you like.
3. Huge Salads
This can be tricky, so let me explain. I advise eating a salad every day for lunch at first, for a few reasons. First, it teaches you to learn to develop a taste for leafy greens, veggies, and raw foods. These foods are the number one most important part of nutrition. Just keep in mind, you need to leave off the croutons, cheese, and high fat processed dressings. I know this is tough, so hear me out. Fill up a huge bowl with some fresh spinach, and some shredded romaine leaves. These are both sweeter greens that even first-timers learn to love quickly. Then, squeeze the juice of one lemon all over it. Add in 1 tbsp. cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil (no more, since it’s really dense in fat), and then sprinkle on some black pepper. Add a drizzle of a zesty vinegar for taste, like balsamic, apple cider, or red wine vinegar. These will ramp up the taste of your foods and give you maximum blood sugar control. Then, fill out your salad with a lean protein like salmon or chicken, or even vegan sources like quinoa, nuts, seeds, and even lentils. Add in whatever veggies look colorful to you that you think you might want to try like chopped peppers, scallions, zucchini, squash, avocado, carrots, etc. Just whatever stands out, add it in, and then dig in! When you get used to eating a huge salad like this each day, you’ll see just how filling healthy foods can be and you probably won’t even be hungry for the rest of the afternoon.
4. Smart Snacks
I think that snacks can be a wonderful tool for fighting off sugar cravings, so long as you keep them healthy. The key is to choose smart snacks instead of processed snacks. This will give you raw nutrition, free of additives, sugar, and refined or processed ingredients. Smart snacks include baby carrots, grape tomatoes, raw nuts, raw seeds, or a nonfat, plain Greek yogurt with some raw nut butter. These are great examples of ways to combat sugar cravings. If you really need something sweet, try some low sugar fruit, but be careful. High sugar fruits can often trigger cravings for the real thing, especially at first. Keep fruit as the last option, and try to stick to veggies instead. If you have to have something sweet, strawberries are the lowest sugar fruit, along with grapefruit. I advise trying to stick to nuts and raw veggies if you can and keep nuts to a ¼ cup serving for portion control.
Stevia has been a lifesaver to me, and it replaced my addiction to artificial sweeteners back in my earlier days. Stevia is nothing more than an herb that comes from the same botanical family as the chrysanthemum flower. It’s proven to lower blood sugar levels, along with giving you a sweet taste, without sugar. Some people think stevia is bitter, but most have tried a low-quality variety. My favorite brand is NuNaturals alcohol-free liquid stevia, which you can keep in your purse and use on the go, or at home in any of your dishes. Overall, I advise keeping stevia to a minimum at first, since you won’t be eating sweet dishes in the beginning. However, when fighting a sugar addiction, it should be your number one choice for adding to plain yogurt, along with non-sweet smoothies, etc. Stevia is 100% natural, sugar-free, calorie-free and gluten-free. Don’t buy a cheap source with additives, but stick to the good stuff! I also like NuNaturals Reb99 pure stevia, which is the purest form of powdered stevia you can buy.
6. Dark Cocoa Powder
Here’s a really delightful food I’m excited to say is marvelous to use in your sugar-free quest. Use dark cocoa powder like Hershey’s 100% unsweetened dark cocoa (sold under Special Dark Cocoa with the red label), and use it in your smoothies, or even stir a pinch in your coffee for a homemade mocha. Unsweetened dark cocoa powder is rich in intense chocolate flavor that naturally fights sugar cravings in a major way. I find it works like a charm and sends those sugar cravings to a complete halt quickly. You can buy this at most supermarkets, or use plain unsweetened cocoa powder instead of dark, or use raw cacao powder, which is another favorite of mine. Raw cacao powder is a superfood, and nothing more than raw cocoa powder. Since it is raw, it retains more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than processed cocoa powders.
7. Healthy Fats
Lastly, I’ve touched on healthy fats above in the suggestions, but this food deserves a category all its own. Healthy fats are key to controlling your sugar cravings, especially when you're just starting to quit sugar. Healthy fats prime your body to burn fat, and they lower your blood sugar dramatically. They’re best combined with veggies, leafy greens, and a lean protein for the optimal blood sugar controlling meal. The best sources include cold pressed olive oil (1 tbsp. at a time), all raw nuts and seeds, raw coconut oil (especially good), raw coconut shreds, raw coconut meat, avocado, hemp oil, flax oil, and low-mercury fish. These are the top sources of fats to add to your diet to fight sugar cravings and fight weight gain. Don’t fear fats! They truly are your friend and will help you keep sugar at the curb!
Wherever you are in your journey to fight off sugar, I promise you, that you can do this! Sugar addiction has been proven to be just as strong as an illegal drug addiction, and it’s nothing to play around with. It causes acne, wrinkles, diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. The quicker you get it out of your life, the happier and healthier you will be. Do you have a special food that helps you fight off sugar cravings?