Most all ladies have a sweet tooth at some point or another and luckily there are some awesome, naturally sweet foods you can eat that are also healthy for you. I grew up eating sugary cereals, syrupy sweet yogurt, and any kind of ice cream I could get my hands on. Though these foods seem normal to most of us, they’re actually very harmful to your blood sugar levels and can cause you to gain weight. They might even trigger Type 2 diabetes, according to Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution and The 10 Day Detox Diet, who says, “Sugar actually causes obesity and Type 2 diabetes and is the leading cause of these conditions 70% of the time.” Instead of reaching for the sweet stuff, head for some of these naturally sweet foods. Keep these healthier choices in your fridge so that the next time your sweet tooth hits, you'll be nutritionally armed and ready!
Pears are one of the best naturally sweet foods you can eat since they’re high in fiber, water, vitamins, and minerals. They’re also one of the best fruits to eat if you like to eat on the run. You can toss one in your purse and bite into it just like you would an apple. Choose Barlett and Asian pears if you especially love a sweeter flavor.
Apples are by far one of my favorite naturally sweet foods to eat and they’re also perfect if you want to drop a few pounds. Whatever apple variety you choose is fine, but be sure not to trim off the peel where all the fiber is. Apples are one of the best foods to eat for their antioxidant content and their satiability factor. They contain pectin, a type of soluble fiber that keeps you fuller longer and helps ensure optimum digestion and regularity. Choose Fuji, Koru, and Honeycrisp apples if you love a sweet flavor and go for Granny Smith and Golden Delicious if you prefer a tarter flavor.
Bananas are possibly the most popular fruit out there but so many people still fear eating them due to their high sugar content. There’s no need to fear the sugar in bananas. They’re actually very low on the glycemic index and can help cure a sweet craving in minutes. Bananas are also high in magnesium, Vitamin B6, and potassium, which all lower your blood sugar and help battle stress that leads to sugar cravings.
Oranges are normally rather tangy in taste but mandarin oranges offer a sweeter flavor that is delectable when a craving hits. They’re also smaller and easier to eat than the larger varieties. All oranges are rich in Vitamin C and soluble fiber and they provide much better nutrition than processed orange juice, which is extremely high in sugar, yet fiber-free.
Cinnamon is a naturally sweet spice and the best to consume for blood sugar purposes. It’s best to buy “true” cinnamon, which comes from Sri Lanka, since this type of cinnamon is richer in chromium, a mineral that helps keep your blood sugar stable to combat cravings. I love a brand known as Flavor of the Earth, which actually hand grinds their cinnamon to protect the nutrients instead of milling it through a machine. You can learn more at flavoroftheearth.com.
Vanilla bean is wonderful if you crave sweet foods. Vanilla helps optimize your hormones and can help combat stress and cravings. Just cut open a vanilla bean, scrape out the insides where the tiny beans are found, and add them to oatmeal, smoothies, or anything else you like.
Grape tomatoes are much sweeter than larger varieties and are easy to eat on the go. Grape tomatoes only contain 4 grams of sugar and 15 calories per half cup. They’re also high in Vitamins C, and B6, and lycopene, an antioxidant known to prevent cancer. Pop a few grape tomatoes in your mouth just like you would grapes - you’ll love how hydrating and satisfying they are!
All melons are high in water content and overall low in sugar. Cantaloupe is especially great for your sweet tooth since it’s lower in sugar than watermelon, yet more flavorful than honeydew melon. Cantaloupe is also a great source of Vitamin C and fiber. I like to freeze it into cubes to use in place of ice in smoothies and frosties.
Whether red, green, or black varieties, grapes are a terrific choice if you have a mad sweet tooth and want to nosh on something healthy. Red and black varieties are higher in antioxidants but green varieties also make a low calorie sweet choice.
Craving carbs? Have a bowl of oatmeal instead of digging into sugary cereal. Oatmeal has a sweeter flavor than rice or quinoa and is also much more satisfying due to its higher soluble fiber content. Oatmeal is also rich in protein and can help keep you full for hours. Cook your oats with some almond, cinnamon, and vanilla bean for an especially sweet, satisfying meal or snack.
Baby carrots are an awesome choice if you crave sweets but want a healthier choice. They’re high in Vitamins A and C, along with magnesium and fiber. The baby varieties are easy to eat on the go and also have a sweeter bite than their larger counterparts.
Blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries are the best berries to choose if you want a sweet flavor, though raspberries and plain acai berry puree are actually two of the healthiest choices due to their low sugar content and other nutritional offerings. Any variety is a great addition to your diet though, so use whichever ones you like.
Butternut, acorn, and kabocha squash are all some of the sweetest winter squash varieties to choose from, especially if you have a huge sweet tooth. Pumpkin is another top choice and overall, the lowest in terms of sugar content. All winter squash can be used in the form of purees for soups, smoothies, and sauces or you can cook them and let them cool in the fridge, where they sweeten even further. They're ideal for snacks and additions to meals.
Try some of these naturally sweet foods and you’ll crave less of the toxic white stuff in no time. What’s your favorite healthy sweet food?
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