The fun of a late night movie in bed is enhanced to another level when you accompany it with a sinful chocolate pastry! Right? Of course, the next morning is guilt-ridden as you step on the weighing scale. Well, if you often find yourself plagued by these annoying sugar cravings, and are looking for a healthy way to satisfy yourself, we got you! One of the best ways to get over a sugar craving is by actually eating sour!
What are sugar cravings and why do they happen?
Despite having a full meal, or unlimited distraction technique, that urge to reach out for that chocolate bar can be annoying! Garima Goyal, dietician, says, “Those who get such a craving find it difficult to control themselves around food, no matter how full they are! Sugar cravings lead to overeating and binge eating, thus raising your total caloric intake.” She tells us why we have these cravings.
- Low blood glucose levels: One common mechanism linked with sugar cravings is the imbalance caused in the body in blood sugar levels. Low levels of sugar in the blood signals the brain to eat something sweet to compensate for this decline.
- Emotional link: Eating something sweet helps to release a feel-good neurotransmitter named serotonin and endorphin in the body, both of these are known as ‘feel good’ chemicals. So having sweet food helps an individual to feel good and aids in relieving depression and anxiety. Having sweet food is a natural way of self-medicating depression.
- Magnesium deficiency: Sometimes sugar craving denotes a deeper nutritional problem and that is magnesium deficiency. In magnesium deficiency, the body cannot use the food adequately to energise the body cells and this may lead to sugar cravings.
- Restlessness: When you haven’t slept well, this also triggers sugar cravings in the body. This happens because when you aren’t well rested, the body wants comforting food to ease out the brain and for this eating junk sugary foods help.
- Gut health: Any individual who has some gut issue such as gut inflammation will crave for sweet food as the pathogenic bacteria present in the gut need sugar for their growth, survival and multiplication.
- Dehydration: Drinking inadequate amount of water might have triggered sugar craving in the body. So, sipping a glass of water may also help in curbing sugar cravings.
How does eating sour food help with sugar cravings?
The acids found in these fruits slow down digestion, keeping blood sugar levels from spiking and crashing, and improving nutrient absorption. Consuming sour foods activate our taste buds in a unique way, providing refreshing and intense sensation, Goyal explains.
- Balancing flavours: Our taste buds often seek balance, and consuming sour foods can counter the overwhelmingly sweet flavours that our palates are accustomed to. The contrast between sweet and sour can make sweet foods seem less appealing.
- Satiety: Sour foods can create a sense of fullness and satisfaction. When you eat something sour, it sends signals to your brain that you’ve consumed something substantial, which can reduce the desire for more food, especially sweet treats.
- Lower sugar intake: Incorporating sour foods into your diet can help reduce your overall sugar consumption. By opting for sour snacks or incorporating sour elements into your meals, you may find yourself less inclined to reach for sugary alternatives.
- Natural sugars: Some sour foods contain natural sugars, like those found in fruits. These natural sugars are less processed and provide a healthier alternative to refined sugars found in many sweet snacks.
Sour foods to combat sugar cravings!
Here are 5 sour food options to try the next time you crave something sweet!
1. Fermented foods
Sauerkraut, kimchi and yoghurt are great foods to curb the sugar cravings. Another advantage of such foods is that they are a source of probiotics which help to fight and kill the pathogenic bacteria that thrive on sugar.
2. Lemon water
The craving of sugar is well balanced by having a glass of sour lemon water. Also, water will help to hydrate the body and balance out the craving of sugary foods.
This sour and sweet tasting fruit is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C. It helps to curb the sugar cravings to a great extent.
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This tropical fruit is not only sour tasting but is delicious too and loaded with vitamin C. Pineapple is rich in bromelain, an enzyme that may help with inflammation and digestion.
This dairy product is loaded with probiotics, calcium and protein. You can add honey and fruits to yoghurt to enhance its flavour.