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10 FOODS THAT HELP CONTROL CRAVINGS

April 12, 2020 by Renee Tavoularis

10 FOODS THAT HELP CONTROL CRAVINGS

When food cravings strike, they are usually for sugary, salty, or processed foods that don’t support your health and wellness. These foods are empty of nutrients and high in calories. The best way to curb cravings is to head them off by eating balanced meals and snacks at regular intervals. When you do eat, go for foods with a well-rounded nutrient profile like these 10 foods that help control cravings.

1. HEALTHY FATS

Unlike the unhealthy trans and saturated fats found in junk foods and fried foods, unsaturated fats are actually an important staple for a balanced diet. These fats found in whole foods like avocado, healthy oils, and nuts and seeds lower cholesterol, support heart health, and can keep you full longer to prevent energy crashes that cause food cravings. Go for healthy oils like coconut, flaxseed, and olive in addition to nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, and chia seeds.

2. LEGUMES

High-fiber foods like legumes take longer to digest in the gut, which means your blood sugar stays steady and you feel satisfied for longer. Replace the meat protein in your soups or salads with legumes like chickpeas, black beans, lentils, and kidney beans to keep cravings at bay.

3. TRAIL MIX

Trail mix is a terrific snack for when cravings strike between meals. It offers a nutritious mix of proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats to regulate blood sugar and tide you over until your next meal. Try making your own trail mix with a blend of your favorite nuts, dried fruit, and cacao chips.

4. WHOLE GRAINS

Refined grains are quickly digested by the body, leading to a faster spike in blood sugar. You want to avoid sudden blood sugar spikes, as they are associated with a variety of health problems. Whole grains like steel-cut oatmeal, barley, brown rice, and quinoa contain complex and fiber-rich carbohydrates. These cause a more gradual rise in blood sugar and take longer to digest, which means they’ll keep you satiated until your next meal.

5. APPLES

Bite into a fresh, organic apple the next time you need a pick-me-up between meals. Apples are loaded with vitamins and minerals that fuel your body. Plus, they offer a dose of fiber to stave off hunger cravings. Eat your apple with a handful of nuts or a tablespoon of nut butter to add healthy fats to this fiber-filled snack. Be sure to choose organic apples since conventional varieties contain harmful pesticides.

6. GREEN TEA

Green tea is loaded with antioxidant catechins that prevent illness and fight oxidative stress. What’s more, this healthy tea is known to suppress the appetite and help you gain control of food cravings. Enjoy a cup an hour or so before meals to hold you over and eliminate excess snacking.

7. WHEAT BRAN

Wheat bran is loaded with insoluble fiber that makes you feel full longer by preventing the production of the hunger hormone ghrelin. Mix bran into cereals, smoothies, applesauce or any liquid-based meal. Doing so causes a sponge effect in which it expands in your stomach, ensuring that you’ll stay satisfied until your next meal.

8. PINE NUTS

Despite what their name suggests, pine nuts are generally classified as seeds because they are the edible seeds from pine trees. Pine nuts contain pinolenic acid, which is proven to promote the release of satiety hormones that signal to the body that you’re full. Whip up a pesto and enjoy it on whole grain bread, in noodles, or on a salad to increase the sensation of fullness after your meal.

9. OLIVES

Instead of reaching for potato chips when you crave something salty, opt for olives. Olives contain heart healthy monounsaturated fats that also help control blood sugar. Plus, they meet the need for a meaty, savory snack without the empty calories or guilt.

10. WATER

It’s very common to confuse thirst with hunger. That’s why it’s important to consume water regularly throughout the day. If you get a craving for food shortly after eating, try drinking a glass of water to see if the cravings disappear. Also, have a glass of water about 30 minutes before a meal to increase the feeling of fullness afterwards and decrease the chance of overeating.


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