We all get sugar cravings once in a while. As much as it is natural to crave for such foods, intake of foods with high sugar content is not healthy. Though it is difficult to stay away from processed foods, one can form a diet routine and be committed to reducing the consumption of excess sugar. So how will you stay healthy and still beat such cravings without feeling like you’re punishing yourself? Here is a list of foods you can consume as you enjoy the taste and appreciate your new habits.

Fruits: What better to help curb your sugar cravings than eating fruits? Pineapples, mangoes, apples and berries all make delicious fruit juices. Don’t forget that fruits are also whole foods. Fruits contain high levels of fiber and are full of nutrients which help boost your immunity. Take them as nature’s fast foods any time you crave to take junk. The vitamins and antioxidants you will get after taking an apple will go a long way in helping your body, compared to the snack you will buy at a fast food joint.

Consume More Fermented Foods and Vegetables: Kombucha, Natto, Miso, sauerkraut and Pickles are some of the foods you should start taking to avoid your urge to take sugary foods. Kombucha is made from tea, clear water, yeast and bacteria. It has a fizzy touch that will have you imagine you are drinking soda; healthy soda. Kimchi, the spicy Asian Cabbage, will lower your cholesterol and make you get that perfect skin. Soybeans are used to prepare Natto. When fermented, it forms Bacillus bacteria; which is a great source of calcium, iron and vitamin K2.Nattokinase agent found in Nattos is good for anti-clotting and helps in reducing the blood pressure. The bacteria in these fermented foods are beneficial. Fermented foods will help you fight food cravings while maintaining a healthy gut.

Legumes: Beans chickpeas and lentils are known to make one feel full after consumption of just a handful of them. Have legumes once in a while in your diet, as they will stop you from having cravings every now and then. Beans stimulate the release of a digestive hormone, cholecystokinin, in the small intestine. The digestive hormone has repressing properties.  Legumes are tasty when well cooked and are rich in fiber and proteins.

Sweet Potatoes: If there is any root vegetable that is as nutritious as it is sweet, it’s the sweet potato. You will satisfy your sweet craving without feeling guilty. You can take sweet potatoes with warm milk either as boiled or roasted. When roasted, you can add paprika or fresh cinnamon for that ideal taste. Sweet potatoes contain Vitamin A and Vitamin C, and are also rich in potassium. Add a few slices of sweet potatoes in your meal to ensure you always have Carbs in your diet.

Nuts: cashew nuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts, Valencia peanuts and hazelnuts contain high protein. Nuts are sweet and have unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. As much as they are unprocessed, restrain yourself from over indulging as they contain too many calories. You can use nuts in desserts or take them dry with your favorite sugar free drink.

Mints and Sugar Free Chewing Gums: Chewing mints is a great way of managing your sugar cravings. Chewing gum that has been made with artificial sweeteners will reduce your cravings for sugary snacks. Chewing gum will maintain your energy levels and decrease feelings of hunger. Other than helping in the reduction of craving sugary foods and drinks, chewing gum also aids in managing one’s appetite and weight control. Look for some pellets of chewing gum any time you want to grab that cholesterol full sweet chocolate bar.

Natural Yoghurt: Natural yogurt has a high protein and calcium content. Avoid sweetened yogurt and stick with the natural drink as it works better when you want to keep your cravings in check. Take it as a snack to regulate your hunger pangs, especially when you don’t want to take anything heavy. No matter how distasteful you think natural yogurt is, don’t add any sugar. Enjoy your yogurt cold and sugar free to enable you combat those cravings. It may be a challenge at first, but look at the end goal; taking plain sugar free yogurt will reduce sugar overload in your body.  Yogurt has a high probiotic content. When buying your yogurt at the store, ensure that it contains live active cultures.

Dates: Dates are extremely sweet and nutritious. When taking them, one almost always gets the same fulfillment they get when sucking on candy. Though dried, dates are rich in iron and potassium. They are also a great source of fiber. Taking dates as a measure of controlling your sweet tooth is one of the most effective ways there is. Their natural sweet taste and smell will have you craving for more. This is good as no matter how many dates you take, your sugar levels will not be interfered with compared to when you would consume a whole packet of candy. Dates can be taken with nuts like almonds or consumed individually like an afternoon snack.

Sugary foods are as addictive as drugs. Once the craving creeps in, you may struggle to keep yourself away from all the sweet things. It is normal to want the sweetest things. It even becomes difficult when you go out and see your friends and everyone else munch their snacks and enjoy their soda, while you can’t. One step at a time, and you will realize you are not missing out on anything. Occasional consumption of sugary foods is not bad, but too much intake may cause complications in your system. Also remember to hydrate. Sometimes we feel like our bodies are craving sugary foods, while in fact, the body just requires some water. Never go a day without drinking water. Take full gallons any time you remember to. If plain water appears to be tasteless, you can always squeeze in lemon and honey in warm water or take green tea.

By Diego