By Chef Selwyn Richards
Certain foods or food-type cravings can be more difficult to overcome than others. Sugar, alcohol, carbohydrates, and caffeine are some of the top offenders. Here is one of the more specific cravings — sugar — and alternatives to help overcome it.
Sugar is found in a vast amount of foods and drinks, from easily recognizable items, such as candy bars and soft drinks, to seemingly healthy foods, like power bars and granola. Eliminating it from your diet will take a bit of detective work and diligence.
Overcoming your sugar cravings
* Eat a little bit of a sugary food, such as a fun-size candy bar. Enjoying a small amount of what you love helps you from feeling denied.
* Try combining the food you’re craving with a healthy one. Dip a banana in melted chocolate for example. Alternatively, mix almonds with bits of a chocolate bar.
* Cut out all simple sugars, cold turkey. It may take 48 to 72 hours before the cravings start to diminish, but over time, your craving for the taste of sugar will become satisfied with alternatives.
* Chew gum to avoid giving into a sugar craving.
* Eat more fruit and nuts. Fruit is naturally sweet and you get the healthy fiber and nutrients from them.
* Go for a walk. When sugar cravings hit, get up and do something to change the scenery, to take your mind off the craving.
* Be sure you are eating regularly. Often a sugar craving comes on when our blood sugar becomes unstable. Waiting longer than 5 hours between meals sets you up for sugar cravings. Try to eat a protein, fiber-rich meal, every three to five hours.
Alternatives to satisfy sugar craving
* Plain frozen yogurt with fresh fruit;
* A small portion of dark chocolate;
* Fresh fruit, fruit kabobs, or a fruit smoothie;
* Dried fruit;
* Chewing gum;
* Mashed sweet potatoes;
* Light chocolate milk;
* Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat;
* Baked apple, stuffed with nuts and oats;
* Frozen bananas, grapes, peaches or other fruit;
* Coconut water;
* Flavored tea, water;
* Nuts with honey drizzled on top;
* Corn, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots;
* Dill pickles;
* Squash fries;
* Light gelatin;
* Popcorn with dark chocolate pieces.
Selwyn Richards is an award-winning master chef. He is also the President and Executive Chef at The Art of Catering Inc. and is the author of “The Art of Cooking: Soul of The Caribbean”. Chef Selwyn can be reached at: email@example.com or by phone — (905) 619-1059.