How Nutritionists Fight Sugar Cravings
Here's what to do when the need for something sweet hits.
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How Nutritionist Fight Sugar Cravings
It’s not abnormal or unhealthy to have a craving for something sweet. In fact, it even happens to nutritionists, too! Find out what nutritionists reach for when their sweet tooth gets fired up. Spoiler alert: Chocolate reigns supreme.
First of All, No Deprivation
One of the foremost mantras for nutrition pros — don’t deprive yourself!
Chloe Schweinshaut of Riverside Nutrition in Cambridge, MA reminds folks to keep themselves in check: "First, I check in with myself to see when the last time I ate was and make sure that I’m not craving sugar because my body is hungry for energy. I’ll feed myself when it’s time for a snack or meal and then if I still want something sweet, I’ll go for it!"
Katlyn Elizabeth, registered dietitian at Jones Memorial Hospital gives some amazingly practical advice. "When we start to 'fight' the cravings, we start to overindulge and then feel guilty about overindulging, it’s a viscous cycle. Eat the chocolate, the muffin or the ice cream cone. I usually like something sweet after dinner, my go-to sweet is a piece of toast with strawberry jam."
Sometimes you just need chocolate. Stacy Davis, RD unapologetically testifies, "I go with it! I don’t deprive myself. I go for dark chocolate and strawberries or, if I have it on-hand, a chia chocolate pudding."
Michele Fumagalli, RD, LDN stocks her house with small chocolate treats. "I always have dark chocolate squares and chips in the house and enjoy a square or two or tablespoon or two of chips almost every night."
"Chocolate is my thing, and many years ago, I would let it get me into trouble by trying to ignore my cravings for it. For at least a decade — probably a lot longer — I've built chocolate into my daily routine," says Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, author of Prediabetes: A Complete Guide. "So I get ahead of the cravings. Lately, I eat six or seven dark chocolate-covered almonds every night after dinner. I look forward to my treat every night, so I never feel deprived."
Registered dietitian Judy Barbe lists fizzy and probiotic-filled Kombucha among her list of go-to sweet foods. The author of Your 6-Week Guide to LiveBest also confesses her other sweet faves include "an apple (seriously), a cookie and spoonful or three of ice cream."
Kitty Broihier, MS, RD of NutriComm Inc reminds us there's so much more to dried fruit than raisins. "One thing I really enjoy that calms my sweet cravings are dried fruits — particularly half of a dried peach or a couple of prunes or apricots. I do limit them, but it's an effective technique for me."
We aren’t done with chocolate just yet! It even tastes good blended with high protein chickpeas — talk about a win-win.
Dietitians Ginger Sandifer and Josten Fish both agree. "I like the Boar’s Head dark chocolate hummus with some pretzels, strawberries or bananas — my young girls will devour this too!" says Sandifer. Fish adds "When I want to indulge in a sweet food my go-to food is strawberries and chocolate hummus."
Not to be confused with frozen yogurt, Ginger Sandifer also gives her yogurt a deep freeze before digging in. "I like to freeze individual containers of Greek yogurt (it can’t be the fruit on the bottom kind) and eat that in the evenings. When it starts to thaw it’s kind of like a snow cone meets ice cream."
Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits
Liz Weiss, MS, RDN is the voice behind the blog and podcast, Liz's Healthy Table and her sweet vote goes to yummy layered yogurt parfaits. "I start with plain Greek yogurt and layer with seasonal fruit (I'm craving diced apples right now) and whole grain granola. Labels come in handy when choosing granola and other cereals because you can compare ingredients like fiber (the more the better), protein and sugar. Satisfying my sweet tooth naturally with fruit does a great job at squashing my cravings."
Yup. More chocolate. Family Meals Dietitian, Barbara Baron, RDN, FAND, likes to sip her chocolate fix. "A glass of chocolate milk does double duty — as it satisfies my sweet tooth, it also has key nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, potassium and protein that can help calm hunger between meals."
Almond Milk Shake
Debra Indorato, RDN, LDN, CLT of Approach Nutrition also likes to drink her sweet cravings away. "If I’m thirsty and craving sweets I make a shake with almond milk and either berries or Hershey’s low sugar chocolate syrup."
Nuts and Nut Butter
E.A. Stewart aka "the Spicy RD" knows that balanced meals are the key to controlling cravings. The combo of nuts (and chocolate) strikes that balance. "Balancing each of my meals (complex carbs, healthy fats, protein) throughout the day, plus enjoying a little something sweet every day is key for me. My treats vary from day to day, but a spoonful of melted chocolate chips with nuts or nut butter never fails to make me happy!"
Apple and Peanut Butter
Michele Sidorenkov, RDN goes for an old reliable — can’t say we blame her — it’s so darn delish! "Apples are naturally sweet and full of filling fiber, which really satisfies my sweet tooth. Adding peanut butter to the mix gives me an extra protein boost to steady my blood sugars, which might have been the reason why I was craving something sweet in the first place!"