Food cravings are intense and irresistible. Out of all other cravings, sweet cravings are extremely common, especially among women and they find it hard to control regardless of any situation. Imagine craving for a chocolate mousse in the middle of an important meeting or sudden crave for a piece of red velvet cake when you are trying to rest after a long tiring day. No matter how hard they try to avoid or indulge in fitness activities, some of them find it difficult to avoid sweet cravings and slowly it turns into the primary reason of obesity and many other health issues. Do you have a sweet tooth, if yes then have you wondered why do you experience sudden sweet cravings?

To know this, let’s get into a bit detailing into the science of eating food.

Cravings for certain food are a result of intense longing for that food. The urge to eat food activates three areas of your brain: the hippocampus, insula and caudate, which are responsible for emotions, memory and reward respectively. Different people have different kinds of food cravings however, one of the most commonly found one is sugar craving.

What is sugar craving?

Sugar craving is the urge to indulge in sugary foods when our bodies need glucose to energize and function properly. A minimal amount of sugar craving is fine; however, for some people it turns into a habit and becomes a psychological need more than physiological need. Sometimes they need it as it activates caudate i.e. reward system in their brains if they go through immense stress and depression in life. Usually, lack of physical activity, irregular blood sugar level and irregular eating habits create unwanted sugar cravings in our brains and later it turns into a habit which can create many health issues. Let us understand why we experience sugar cravings.

Reasons for sugar cravings

There are numerous reasons for sugar cravings and it varies from person to person. The most common ones are defined below.

  • Deficiency of Magnesium in the body:

Our bodies need a lot of different micronutrients along with regular nutritional components. And lack of anyone of them creates one or the other health issues. Magnesium is one of those micronutrients and it regulates glucose, insulin and dopamine. Lack of magnesium in our diet can create intense sugar cravings especially for chocolates.

  • Too much consumption of processed food:

Processed foods are rich in simple carbohydrates and they enter into our bloodstream easily while raising the blood sugar levels and insulin. And in the process, our gut system needs more sugar to digest the food. Unhealthy diet habits, especially the ones where protein content is relatively low, creates intense sugar cravings. Now you know fast food chains mostly offer a bottle of coke free with their meals.

  • Improper Sleep: As per a research covered on Further Food , lack of sleep increases ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and reduces leptin (the satisfaction hormone). This results in major sugar cravings. The reason why most of people working in night shifts crave for fast food and colas.
  • Depression & stress: When you are stressed, you are more likely to have food that emotionally satisfies you. Your body calls forth for such food because it increases the level of dopamine – the feel good hormone. And food rich in glucose aggravates it.

How to control sugar cravings?

Since the reasons are many, there are many solutions as well. All we need to do is become a bit selective while eating and adapt a healthy lifestyle. Let’s check them out.

  • Consume apple cider vinegar: If you are habitual of eating sugary food at a particular time of the day, you should add one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a large bottle of water, keep it handy and drink it gradually throughout the day. This helps in reducing your craving to a great extent.  
  • Maintain regular meal intervals: Having regular meal intervals keeps you satiated throughout the day. It helps you maintain proper blood sugar levels in the body and further helps you curb your sugar cravings. We suggest you to have small portions of meal in regular intervals.
  • Start your day with fresh fruits: According to Nutritionist Jessica Sepel, eating fresh fruits in empty stomach in the morning reduces sugar cravings. As the natural glucose level content in fruits regulate healthy blood sugar levels. However, consuming them in the afternoon may have adverse effects.
  • Have a multivitamin: In general, Indian diet is rich in simple carbohydrates and lacks protein. And most of items are cooked or fried to a point where all micronutrients value comes down to zero. And this is the reason why do we need to add a multivitamin in our daily diet. It helps us moderate healthy blood sugar level and control our craving for sugary food. However, we suggest taking help from a nutritionist before going for it. Apart from that, micronutrients such as magnesium and zinc can be found in a number of foods such as almonds, black beans, spinach and cashews.
  • Add lemon juice in your diet: According to Dr. David Williams a medical researcher and biochemist, adding a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice in our diet can help control the blood sugar levels by eight to twelve per cent. You can add lemon juice in your salads and roast vegetables or drink it as a glass of juice after your meal.

Sugar cravings are not easy to avoid. But there are many alternative foods that help you curb your sugar cravings. Some of them include fresh fruits, lemon juice, and food rich in micro nutrients and minerals etc. Alternatively, you can replace sugar with natural sugar substitutes such as organic honey, maple syrup, cane sugar, coconut palm sugar, and stevia based natural sweeteners etc. And currently,   Swee10 is regarded as one of the best stevia sweeteners in India. It is 100% natural and can be easily found in  (web store link), (supermarket names).