The fun of a late night movie in bed is taken to another level when you pair it with a sinful chocolate pastry! RIGHT? Of course, the next morning you feel guilty when you step on the scale. Well, if you’re often plagued by those pesky sugar cravings and are looking for a healthy way to satisfy yourself, we’ve got you covered! One of the best ways to overcome a sugar craving is to eat sour!
What are sugar cravings and why do they occur?
Despite a full meal or unlimited distraction technique, that urge to reach for that chocolate bar can be annoying! Garima Goyal, a dietician, says: “Those who have such a craving find it difficult to control themselves over food, even if they are full! Sugar cravings lead to overeating and binge eating, increasing your total calorie intake. She explains to us why we have these desires.
- Low blood glucose levels: A common mechanism linked to sugar cravings is the imbalance caused in the body in blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar levels signal the brain to eat something sweet to compensate.
- Emotional connection: Eating something sweet helps release a feel-good neurotransmitter called serotonin and endorphin in the body, both known as “feel good” chemicals. So, eating sweet foods helps an individual feel good and helps relieve depression and anxiety. Consuming sugary foods is a natural way to self-medicate against depression.
- Magnesium deficiency: Sometimes sugar cravings indicate a deeper nutritional problem: a magnesium deficiency. When deficient in magnesium, the body cannot adequately use food to energize the body’s cells, which can lead to sugar cravings.
- Hustle: When one has not slept well, it also triggers sugar cravings in the body. This happens because when you are not well rested, the body needs comfort foods to soothe the brain and for this, eating sugary junk food helps.
- Gut health: Anyone suffering from a gut problem such as intestinal inflammation will crave sugary foods because disease-causing bacteria in the gut require sugar for growth, survival and multiplication.
- Dehydration: Drinking an insufficient amount of water might have triggered a sugar craving in the body. So, sipping a glass of water can also help reduce sugar cravings.
How Does Eating Acidic Foods Help Fight Sugar Cravings?
The acids in these fruits slow digestion, preventing blood sugar levels from spiking and crashing and improving nutrient absorption. Eating acidic foods activates our taste buds in a unique way, providing a refreshing and intense sensation, says Goyal.
- Balancing flavors: Our taste buds often crave balance, and eating acidic foods can counteract the extremely sweet flavors our palates are accustomed to. The contrast between sweet and sour can make sweet foods less appealing.
- Satiety: Acidic foods can create a feeling of fullness and satisfaction. When you eat something sour, it sends signals to your brain that you’ve consumed something substantial, which can reduce the desire to eat more, especially sugary treats.
- Reduced sugar consumption: Incorporating acidic foods into your diet can help reduce your overall sugar intake. By opting for tart snacks or incorporating tart elements into your meals, you may be less inclined to resort to sugary alternatives.
- Natural sugars: Some acidic foods contain natural sugars, such as those found in fruit. These natural sugars are less processed and are a healthier alternative to the refined sugars found in many sugary snacks.
Tangy foods to fight sugar cravings!
Here are 5 sour food options to try the next time you’re craving something sweet!
1. Fermented foods
Sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt are great foods to curb sugar cravings. Another benefit of these foods is that they are a source of probiotics that help fight and kill disease-causing bacteria that thrive on sugar.
2. Lemon water
The craving for sugar is well balanced by drinking a glass of sour lemon water. Additionally, water will help hydrate the body and balance cravings for sweet foods.
This sweet and sour tasting fruit is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C. It helps in reducing sugar cravings to a large extent.
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This tropical fruit not only tastes sour, it’s also delicious and rich in vitamin C. Pineapple is rich in bromelain, an enzyme that can help fight inflammation and digestion.
This dairy product is full of probiotics, calcium and protein. You can add honey and fruits to yogurt to enhance its flavor.