Ask Keri: Are there naturally sweet foods I can eat to satisfy cravings without loading up on added sugar?
Keri Says: Sugar cravings happen for many reasons that have nothing to do with a sweet tooth. So your first step should be figuring out what’s causing yours. Then, you can prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Thankfully, when they do pop up, there are plenty of naturally sweet foods you can reach for instead of hitting the office vending machine. (Step away from the Snickers!)
Some of these (like fruit) do contain sugar. But remember, naturally-occurring sugar embedded in a nutrient-dense whole food is not the same thing as cups of white table sugar added to a cupcake.
Scroll through some of my favorite sweet foods, below.
4 Naturally Sweet Foods for When Cravings Hit
When it comes to nuts, cashews and pecans have a natural sweetness to them. (Save your roasted almond habit for when you’re craving something savory.) They also deliver healthy fats and protein at the same time—the signature of a healthy snack.
Warming spices such as cinnamon lean towards the sweet side. Sprinkle some in your coffee or on a slice of apple, for instance, and it’s suddenly reminiscent of dessert. (Especially if you bake the apple slices!). Plus, you’ll reap all of the health benefits, too.
When you’re looking for sweetness, choose root vegetables over greens. Sweet potatoes are an obvious choice. (When you roast them, they literally taste like candy … and you can even add cinnamon). Beets are also super sweet and nutritious.
Skip the citrus and banana, and reach for a handful of fresh blueberries, raspberries or strawberries instead. These low-sugar fruits are still sweet enough to often be served as dessert (maybe with just a tiny bit of whipped cream), but won’t send your blood sugar spiking. Keep some frozen and they can even double as mini popsicle bites.(Photo: Clem Onojeghuo via Unsplash)