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Sugar is considered unhealthy due to the high calories associated with it. People who are trying to lose weight and want to remain fit and healthy often avoid sugar and sugar-based foods in their diet.
Once you start having sugar-based foods on a regular basis, you get addicted to it and keep wanting for more. This is how sugar cravings come in. Sugar cravings are common and it is reported that 97 per cent of women and 68 per cent of men experience sugar cravings  .
Sugary foods and drinks are rich in carbohydrates, which trigger the feel-good chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and other relaxing endorphins in the brain. The effect of these chemicals makes a person want for more such foods.
Fortunately, there are some foods that can help fight your sugar cravings.
Foods To Stop Your Sugar Cravings
1. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are high in omega 3 fatty acids, dietary fibre and healthy plant compounds. The soluble dietary fibre absorbs water and swells up to form a jelly-like substance in the stomach, which keeps you full for longer and prevents sugar cravings  .
You can try out this oats and chia seeds recipe to curb your sugar cravings.
Spirulina is a superfood in so many ways, it has a number of health-boosting benefits and is the most digestible protein that instantly satisfies your hunger. The amino acid tyrosine in spirulina triggers the brain to release dopamine and another neurotransmitter called norepinephrine which helps curb sugar cravings  .
Fruits are naturally sweet and they contain a lot of essential vitamins and minerals. Eat fruits like mangoes, berries or grapes which contain a high amount of sugar. Reach out for fruits when you have a sugar craving every time.
Nuts contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats which when consumed after meals keep the body satisfied for longer, so you are less likely to have sugar cravings  . Have Brazil nuts and almonds as they are mildly sweet.
5. Dark chocolate
Opt for dark chocolate whenever your urge to have sweets come up. Dark chocolate contains more than 70 per cent cocoa and less sugar and fat, making it one of the best foods to satisfy your sugar cravings  .
Yogurt can help reduce your appetite and control your food cravings  . A study showed that women who had high protein Greek yogurt for an afternoon snack were less hungry and ate less later in the day  .
Smoothies made with fruits, veggies and healthy nut butters can help fight your sugar cravings and also increase the nutritional intake. Having a smoothie shake after breakfast or lunch will satisfy your urge to have something sweet after a meal.
Cinnamon is a sweet spice that can help stop your sugar cravings by controlling blood glucose levels. Drinking cinnamon tea will reduce your cravings and give you an extra energy boost!
9. Fermented foods
Fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, kombucha and sauerkraut feed the good bacteria and can help regulate appetite and reduce sugar cravings.
Dates are sweet and high in nutrients like potassium, fibre, iron and beneficial plant compounds. When you have a strong urge to have sugary foods or drinks, munch some dates to cut down sugar cravings.
11. Sugarless chewing gum
Sugarless gums are made with artificial sweeteners which can be a great way to control your sugar cravings. A study found that chewing gum can control hunger, cravings and reduce the intake of carb-rich foods later in the day  .
Tips To Manage Sugar Cravings
- Eat a healthy, filling meal
- Go for a brisk walk outside
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid excess stress
- Take a hot shower
- Have a good night's sleep
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-  Ayaz, A., Akyol, A., Inan-Eroglu, E., Kabasakal Cetin, A., Samur, G., & Akbiyik, F. (2017). Chia seed (Salvia Hispanica L.) added yogurt reduces short-term food intake and increases satiety: randomised controlled trial.Nutrition research and practice,11(5), 412–418.
-  Hoertel, H. A., Will, M. J., & Leidy, H. J. (2014). A randomized crossover, pilot study examining the effects of a normal protein vs. high protein breakfast on food cravings and reward signals in overweight/obese "breakfast skipping", late-adolescent girls.Nutrition journal,13, 80.
-  Tan, S. Y., Dhillon, J., & Mattes, R. D. (2014). A review of the effects of nuts on appetite, food intake, metabolism, and body weight.The American journal of clinical nutrition,100(suppl_1), 412S-422S.
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-  Tremblay, A., Doyon, C., & Sanchez, M. (2015). Impact of yogurt on appetite control, energy balance, and body composition.Nutrition reviews,73(suppl_1), 23-27.
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-  Hetherington, M. M., & Boyland, E. (2007). Short-term effects of chewing gum on snack intake and appetite.Appetite,48(3), 397-401.