Sugar cravings are a common occurrence, but indulging in excessive white sugar can have detrimental effects on your health, increasing the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular issues and type 2 diabetes.
A study conducted by Harvard University and published in JAMA Internal Medicine revealed a link between a high-sugar diet and an elevated risk of dying from heart disease. Individuals who obtained 17% to 21% of their calories from added sugar had a 38% higher chance of dying from cardiovascular disease compared to those who consumed only 8% of their calories as added sugar.
Considering these risks, it is important to find healthier alternatives to satisfy your sugar cravings. Nutritionist Anjali Mukerjee shares some helpful tips to help you curb your cravings in a more wholesome way.
One suggestion is to keep bite-sized pieces of fruits in the freezer. Anjali advises freezing watermelon cubes and enjoying them whenever you feel the urge for something sweet. Other fruits like apples, grapes, papaya, and chikoo (sapodilla) can also be enjoyed slowly to fulfill your sweet tooth cravings.
When you have a strong desire for sugary treats like donuts or brownies, opt for dry fruits instead. Anjeer (figs), dates, and black currants can provide a naturally sweet taste while offering nutritional benefits.
Another strategy to manage sugar cravings is to consider chromium supplements after consulting with a doctor. Research suggests that chromium supplements can help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, thereby reducing sugar cravings.
However, the most effective method for curbing sugar cravings is to incorporate protein-rich foods into your diet. Anjali recommends including protein sources such as egg whites, soya granules, chicken, fish, dals (lentils), and paneer (cottage cheese) in every meal. Protein helps reduce sugar cravings and promotes overall satiety.
By following these tips, you can manage your sugar cravings in a healthier manner, supporting your overall well-being and minimizing the risks associated with excessive sugar consumption.