According to the CDC, the average intake of added sugars in adults in America was 17 teaspoons per day in 2018. This equals about 71 grams of sugar, which is a lot! Consuming too much sugar, especially added sugars, can increase risk of certain diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Instead, Americans should focus on reducing added sugar intake to at least 10% or below of their total calories!
Reducing added sugar intake can be tough, especially for those with intense sugar cravings. Sugar cravings oftentimes creep up on us unannounced, or may be habitual, such as a post-dinner treat. This leads us to crave more and more sugar, derailing us in not only our daily sugar consumption, but also our long-term health goals. We’ll dive deeper into how you can manage your sugar cravings in this article.
Find the source of your cravings
Typically, we consume sugary foods for a reason. This can be out of habit, such as when the clock hits 8pm, or maybe in the mid-afternoon work slump. Another reason for sugar cravings could be due to emotional triggers. When we feel intense periods of emotion, like sadness or anger, we may turn to food as a source of comfort. Sugary foods can act as a quick fix or bandaid for those emotions. The science behind this is that sugar, or carbohydrates, increases the serotonin in our brain, which in turn improves our mood.
Stress is another factor that can increase sugar cravings. When we are stressed, we’re likely to feel more irritable or tired, leading us to choose quick foods that provide a burst of energy. When we’re stressed, we’re also likely to have difficulty sleeping, poor quality sleep or low desire to focus on our health goals in the moment. This affects many aspects of our health, including our overall food decisions. Pure Plates helps to reduce this barrier by making the food decisions for us, and providing us with all nourishing foods that keeps us on track with our health goals!
Foods that manage sugar cravings
Foods that manage sugar cravings include foods that keep us full and satisfied: protein and fiber. Protein keeps us full and keeps our blood sugars from rising too high. It activates our fullness hormone, and therefore can help us to reach long-term health goals like weight loss, cardiovascular disease prevention, and diabetes management. Pure Plates offers many protein-rich foods. Check out our chicken and turkey dish section, fish and shrimp dish section, or beef and pork section to choose your favorite protein-rich meal. One of our favorites is our Baja Tilapia entree.
Another important nutrient to manage sugar cravings by keeping us full is fiber. Fiber is an indigestible carb that passes through our body. Since they aren’t digested, they provide more volume in our gut and leave us feeling full. Fiber intake has many health benefits outside of just sugar intake alone. It also helps to reduce risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol, improves our gut health, and manages weight. Fiber can be divided into two categories, insoluble and soluble. Soluble fiber sources dissolve in water, while insoluble do not. Check out some of our favorite fiber sources below:
- Brown rice
No matter what source of fiber you choose from, it’ll be sure to provide you in the right direction of meeting your short- and long-term health goals. The short being managing sugar cravings! Pure Plates offers a variety of fiber options. One of our favorites is the Six Pepper Chicken Salad.
Managing your sugar cravings can be tough when you are in the cycle of consuming high quantities of sugar daily. We recommend starting out slow by properly nourishing your body with healthy foods, like fiber and protein, to help manage your sugar cravings and eventually help you to reduce overall sugar intake. Pure Plates helps you to do all of this by helping you to eat more nourishing, filling meals.