Salt and sugar cravings can sabotage healthy diets and result in the unwanted and unplanned consumption of processed junk food. The following foods can help you to stay on track with your diet and to satisfy your salt and sugar cravings in a healthy way.
Although low salt diets are all the rage, your body actually requires salt in order to function properly. The real problem with salt in our diets is that it often comes from unhealthy processed foods. Nuts and seeds are a natural source of salt and they are excellent at satisfying cravings for salty junk food. They are however high in fat and calories, so be sure to consume them in moderation (no more than 1/4 cup per day).
When a salt craving hits, you may find yourself reaching for a bag of chips, promising yourself that you will just have a few. Unfortunately chips and other salty junk food items are often devoid of fiber and protein which are required for satiation. This means that your good intentions of moderation can easily turn into an episode that more closely resembles binge eating. A great alternative to salt laden junk food is veggies and hummus. The fiber and water content of the vegetables and the protein in the hummus will fill you up, and the natural salts in this snack combination will help to eliminate your cravings for unhealthy junk food.
If you have a ravenous sweet tooth and find yourself binge eating on junk food sweets such as cookies and candy, then stalk up your fridge with a variety of fruits. Fruits provide a natural sweetness while also supplying your body with nutrients, water and fiber — all three of which help to quash cravings.
If fruit alone just isn’t cutting it, indulge in a square or two of dark chocolate daily. When buying chocolate, check the ingredients label and choose chocolate that has a high cocoa content (at least 60%), little or no added sugar, and that is made from cocoa butter as opposed to palm oils . You can melt the chocolate and dip your fruit into it, or eat it alone, but be sure to eat it slowly and really enjoy its flavours. When it comes to dark chocolate, a little goes a long way!
Yoghurt will satisfy your hunger because it is high in protein which helps to quash cravings. Also yoghurt helps provide your gut with healthy bacteria (probiotics) which is important because a deficiency in healthy gut bacteria can cause sugar cravings. You should buy unsweetened yoghurt because most yoghurt has either sugar or artificial sweeteners added to it. Finally, if you are really craving something sweet you can add some unpasteurized honey or stevia and fresh fruit to the yoghurt.
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Similar to yogurt, fermented foods such as kefir, kimchee, miso, kombucha and homemade pickled vegetables, provide your gut with healthy bacteria which overtime will reduce your junk food cravings. Also, for reasons unknown, the sourness of these foods seems to instantly reduce cravings for sugar-laden junk food and pickled vegetables help to curb salt cravings.
So it’s not really a food, but tea is excellent at satisfying sweet cravings. The liquid in tea helps to fool your stomach into thinking that it is full. Also the caffeine content of traditional teas such as green tea and orange pekoe tea helps to temporarily reduce your appetite. If you are craving something sweet, choose an herbal tea and add some stevia or raw honey to it. You may also want to try consuming some liquorice tea because it is known for its ability to reduce sugar cravings.