Most of us can easily say, “I love sweets” There is a reason why at every event that we celebrate there is a sweet thing to eat. Birthday cake, Halloween candy, Easter chocolates, Christmas cookies, and then because it is Tuesday works for me too, lol. Our bodies crave sweet in one form or another.
Why do we crave sweets?
There are a few reasons actually. But, sometimes it’s not your fault, we are actually made this way. Sometimes it’s what we have or have not eaten.
- Our bodies have a hormone called serotonin. It is often called the ‘feel-good’ hormone. It does just that, it makes you feel good. Sugar can actually trigger a serotonin release causing you to crave sweets.
- Another time we crave sweets is because you have just had a starchy, heavy meal, like pasta and if there is little to no protein or fiber, bring on the craving. Your body will absorb this meal so fast that it will be looking to bring your blood sugar levels back up once it’s digested and sugar is the quickest way to do that.
- Salt is another reason we crave sweets. Sounds funny, but it’s true. The saltier the food, the more you will crave something sweet. It doesn’t matter where the salt comes from either. Whether it’s a bag of chips, processed food, fries, or something healthy but heavily salted, you will crave sweets to balance it out.
- Another reason may be simply that you are thirsty. Truly, thirsty. Sometimes our body doesn’t recognize what we are really feeling and it seems to resort to old habits rather than giving a clear message about what we need. When our bodies want water, sometimes we are confused about what our bodies want and we resort to eating and eating something either sweet or salty instead of having a glass of water.
Ok, now we know why we crave sweet, what do we do now if we are trying to eat healthy or avoid the candy and cookies?
Here are some simple things to add to your overall diet that will help reduce the cravings before they happen.
- Eat foods that are high in the mineral magnesium, chromium, and zinc. They are foods such as dark leafy greens, seeds and nuts, broccoli, eggs, sweet potatoes, and oysters.
- Use spices in your meals. Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom naturally sweeten food.
- Coconut oil, extra-virgin is preferred, and other ‘healthy’ fats. These include avocados, nuts and seeds again, salmon, and eggs. This speeds up metabolism and feeds the brain.
- Cut back on caffeine, alcohol and increase water. Caffeine and alcohol dehydrate the body and dehydration have been linked to cravings in general. Drink herbal teas, water with lemon, or good old plain water.
- Make sure you are exercising and getting enough sleep. We tend to eat when we are sleepy and exercise boosts our energy levels which helps our bodies produce and use serotonin. Happy happy joy joy!
I love to eat – Kit Kats or cookies-and-cream ice cream. I need sugar like five times a day. – Kim Kardashian