We all have food cravings. But, if you don’t control what goes through your mouth, you’ll have to deal with unhealthy weight later on. Besides, the more you give in to your cravings, the longer you will derail your quest to healthy dieting.
Even then, you can eat specific foods whenever cravings strike to suppress the urge to indulge in unhealthy ones. What follows is a rundown of 15 of these meals.
1. Fresh Fruit
Fruits are a brilliant choice to fight sugar cravings. With these as part of your diet, you can counter the appetite for high fat, high sugar foods such as chocolate. See, fruits taste sweet naturally. Plus, they offer a host of benefits including high fiber content. Fresh fruit is rich in antioxidants has very few calories.
On top of that, eating fruits on a regular basis can lower your risk of conditions such as heart disease and obesity. In fact, one study conducted in 2015 revealed that eating at least 300 grams of fruits on a daily basis can reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 16%.
Consider adding one or two drops of dark chocolate into your bowl of mixed fruit to make them more palatable.
Berries are a nutritious choice to stop sugar cravings. They’re sweet and have high fiber content. With such a combination, berries are an excellent option if you think your cravings are chronic and not caused by hunger. For instance, if you have a habit of eating sweet foods while watching a moving, you can choose to eat berries instead.
Berries are easy to prepare and are a rich source of minerals and vitamins. More than that, their potent anti-inflammatory properties may help to protect you from illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.
3. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate is one of the most popular foods people turn to whenever they crave for sweets. However, instead of eating chocolate, you can make a healthier choice that is dark chocolate. Apart from containing high levels of cocoa, dark chocolate has a plant compounds called polyphenols. Repeated studies show that polyphenols are good for the heart’s health.
4. Greek Yogurt
Sure, Greek Yogurt has a creamy texture and is highly indulgent. On the flipside, however, it is incredibly healthy. It has more protein and low sugar content in comparison to regular yogurt. Greek yogurt is also a great source of vitamins B, calcium and beneficial bacteria. Regular intake helps improve your bone and digestive health. You may choose to combine Greek yogurt with fruit for additional health benefits and nutrients.
5. Snack Bars
While not all snack bars are healthy, some make a sound choice if you’re craving for a sweet treat. The only thing that you need to do is to ensure your pick one made using whole oats and sweetened with dried or fresh fruit instead of table sugar. Be careful not to go for bars containing “healthy” sugars such as agave syrup, coconut sugar, and honey. Keep in mind that these are still sugars and aren’t healthy for your body. Bars made using whole foods, however, have high fiber content and more beneficial nutrients.
6. A Hot Drink
Want to reduce your calorie intake? Well, make it a habit of drinking hot beverages. These include tea, coffee, or espresso after a meal. That way, you can reduce your craving for a dessert. Hot drinks can also boost your energy levels and further enable you to drift your mind away from cravings. Coffee can also increase the level of peptide YY, a fullness hormone with an appetite suppressing effect.
7. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are chockfull of nutrients including soluble dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and a collection of healthy plant compounds. More specifically, these seeds contain about 40% of soluble fiber. Chia seeds absorb water and swell into a jelly-like substance in your gut, promoting a fuller feeling and by extension reducing your sugar cravings. Besides, Chia seeds are versatile, allowing you to add them into your dessert or for making pudding.
8. Fruit and Nut Butter
You can dip your fruit into nut butter to make a tasty snack that will help keep your cravings in check. You only need to the nut butter in small amounts. As for the health benefits of doing so, you will supply your body with a healthy dose of fiber, minerals, and vitamins as well as healthy fats. A fruit and butter snack also contains beneficial plant compounds and proteins.
Note – it’s not healthy to take nut butter on its own. So, be sure to use small portions of butter and add a little bit of salt.
9. Banana Ice Cream
Banana ice cream is a healthy alternative to creamy ice cream. You can make yours by blending ripe bananas in a food processor and freezing them in about an hour or so. Not only is banana ice cream full of flavor but also smooth. It has a low calorie count and high fiber content when compared to regular ice cream. You can add other ingredients such as milk, spices, and fruit if you want to make it more of a treat.
10. Cottage Cheese
For starters, cottage cheese is low in calorie and also incredibly nutritious. It has a mild flavor and easy to swallow. Sure, cottage cheese may contain a mere 163 calories per cup, but it has about 70% proteins. It also has a significant amount of B12, calcium and riboflavin B2. It is the low calorie and high protein content of this cheese that makes it a brilliant choice if you’re looking for a healthy snack, especially when you’re trying to shed off the extra pounds.
Repeated research shows that consuming foods with high levels of proteins such cottage cheese can make you feel fuller, for longer. The ripple effect is that you will eat less and by extension lose weight.
Yes, popcorn is a healthy food to eat when craving strike. It is primarily a good choice if you want to satisfy your salt craving without leaving a hole in your wallet. You can also turn to popcorn if you can get enough of choose.
Even then, you have to be careful with how you prepare your popcorn, the size of your serving and the topping choice.
One three cup serving of plain popcorn contains over 100 calories. It, therefore, means that if you a take a large serving with sweetened sugar or caramel, you’re in essence consuming more calories than your body needs. Also, air-popped or homemade popcorn has lower calories than popcorn popped in hot oil. Keep off pre-packaged microwave popcorn as it contains unhealthy ingredients.
One of the easiest ways to keep your popcorn healthy is to choose air-popped, plain and slightly salted popcorn. Be mindful of your servings as well.
Olives are a common addition to the Mediterranean diet in the form of olive oil. They contain low-calorie levels and a host of beneficial compounds. On top of that, oleic acid the main fat present in olives can reduce the risk of heart disease and has inflammatory properties. Olives are great when your body is craving for something to eat, but you also want to check your calorie intake.
13. Vegetable Chips
Counter your cravings for potato chips with vegetable chips. Sure, you will make vegetable chips the same way you would with potato chips only that this time you will use vegetables like kale, seaweed, and parsnips instead of potatoes. In other words, select your ingredients carefully to make sure that you’re only eating low-calorie, healthy snacks.
Be on the lookout for commercial brands that contain high levels of salt, calories, and fat in comparison to regular potato chips.
14. Miso Soup
Miso soup is also a good choice if you want to deal with your cravings for salt. You will use Miso paste as the primary ingredient. The process of making the paste involves fermenting soya beans with grains, salt and a type of fungus known as koji.
The soup is tasty and low in calorie. It is also a good source of protein, fiber and beneficial plant compounds as wells a variety of minerals. Miso soup’s health benefits include reducing the risk of breast cancer. Japanese women eat it to protect themselves from a stroke.
These are undeveloped soybeans. You can boil them and spray some salt to make a tasty snack. They an excellent option if you’re craving for something a little bit salty.
Edamame is rich in fiber, minerals, proteins and many vitamins including vitamin K and folate. One cup of Edamame contains up to 190 calories and 17 grams of protein.
You don’t have to give in to your cravings. In fact, it is unhealthy to do so. Other than putting your body at risk of illness, you will also have a hard time trying to adopt a healthy eating routine. Sure, dealing with cravings is not the simplest of things but the foods on this list will put you on the right path.