还记得你在办公室休息室里躲过生日蛋糕的时间不成功吗?For a few sweet moments you were basking in the glow of that sugar-induced dopamine rush to the brain. But then came the equally intense crash, leaving you tired and cranky. It was then you swore you were going on a sugar detox.

Of course, going cold turkey with sugar usually backfires. Too often it leads to a pattern of cravings, followed by overindulging, followed by guilt, which inevitably repeats itself. Blame it on sugar’s addictive qualities—researchers say that both sugar and narcotics light up the same reward centers in our brains (1).

So what’s the solution? Cutting back on sugar is definitely a good idea, as excess consumption of sugar and refined carbs promotes inflammation and has been associated with everything from obesity and diabetes to Alzheimer’s and cancer (2). But, you need to be strategic about it.

Understand that it takes time for your body to adjust to less sugar, but that you will adjust. “You can change what your brain craves, but you have to teach it – and feed it right to do so,” says Jen McDaniel, RD, a registered dietitian based in St. Louis.

Make sure your overall diet is brimming with blood sugar-stabilizing foods like fiber-rich vegetables, quality sources of protein like wild caught salmon, and healthy fats such as olive oil.

Don’t deny your cravings. Instead, start eating specific foods (with key nutrients) that will not only satisfy your urge for sweet but also keep future urges at bay. With input from registered dietitians, we’ve rounded up seven delicious foods that curb sugar cravings, as well as the best ways to eat them.


“Nut butters such as peanut, almond, or cashew pack a rich, satisfying consistency and also supply your body with protein and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which help stabilize your blood sugar,” says McDaniel. Plus, they taste amazing added to almost anything, from fruit to oatmeal to smoothies. Almond butter in particular packs a hefty dose of magnesium, which is great news, considering magnesium helps regulate blood sugar (3). Magnesium also tends to become depleted in times of stress, which is why you might have an extra strong case of the munchies if you’re feeling overextended.

Try it: Make yourself a healthy bowl of “nice” cream. Simply blend up a frozen banana, a dollop of nut butter, a spoonful of cocoa powder, and a splash of almond milk.


Research shows that people who eat apples are subsequently less hungry (and tend to eat less at their next meal) than people who consume applesauce or apple juice (4). Chalk it up to apples’ fiber content, which allows them to be digested at a much slower rate. “Apples also contain quercetin, a potent antioxidant that helps reduce inflammation,” says McDaniel.

Try it: Try a grown-up version of “ants on a log” by slathering apple slices with peanut butter then sprinkling them with some healthy granola (preferably one made with whole-grains, nuts and seeds). The nut butter packs healthy fats, which further boost satiety.



Chocolate contains anti-inflammatory plant-based compounds called flavanols along with theobromine. The latter is an alkaloid compound that has natural antidepressant properties and a euphoric effect on mood and body, says Ali Miller, RD, integrative dietitian and author of The Anti-Anxiety Diet. Dark chocolate is also a good source of magnesium, which, in addition to helping control blood sugar, relaxes the body and mind to reduce nervous, mindless munching.

Try it: With chocolate bars, choose 70-80% (or darker) chocolate to ensure you’re maximizing flavanol content. McDaniel says for cocoa powder, go for a non-alkalized natural variety as opposed to Dutch process cocoa.


The ultra-trendy bone broth has been touted as a superfood, and for good reason. It’s rich in protein, collagen, and a range of vitamins and minerals not found in regular broth. The protein content alone can help stabilize blood sugar and curb cravings, but it goes above and beyond, thanks to the amino acid glycine. “Bone broth is rich in glycine, which supports the production of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain, which in turn helps minimize our stress response and aids in impulse control,” says Miller.

Try it: Got a birthday or holiday party coming up? Sip on a mug of bone broth beforehand so you’re primed to make healthier choices. You can also use it in your next batch of pumpkin soup or homemade ramen. You can even blend bone broth protein powder (a dried version of the broth that comes in flavored and plain varieties) into your next smoothie.

Canned Pumpkin

Pureed pumpkin can be used in way more than just holiday pies. “A half cup has a mere 40 calories, yet packs in 3.5 grams of filling fiber and a fatigue-busting dose of iron,” says McDaniel. Canned pumpkin is also sky high in beta-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A), which helps reduce inflammation and has been associated with a reduced risk of diabetes in people who are genetically predisposed to the disease (5).

Try it: For a healthier take on a fall dessert, make pumpkin mousse. Simply combine 1/8 cup canned pumpkin, 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, and a drizzle of honey in a blender. Top with some chopped nuts or a little healthy granola for added texture.


Dates are truly nature’s candy. This dried fruit certainly hits the sweet spot, but thanks to its fiber content, it doesn’t result in the drastic blood sugar spikes that refined sugars would. “Dates may also be helpful for lowering inflammation and preventing plaques from forming in the brain, which is important for preventing Alzheimer’s disease,” says McDaniel.

Try it: Make your own on-the-go energy bites by combining ½ cup nut butter, 1/3 cup rolled instant oats, 1/2 cup chopped dates, and a sprinkle of cinnamon in a food processor and then forming into balls.

Glutamine-Rich Foods

Ever feel like you’re extra ravenous when you’re overwhelmed? Then you might need more glutamine. That’s because glutamine – which helps regulate blood sugar and improve impulse control – becomes depleted in times of stress, thus increasing your needs, explains Miller. Meat, cabbage, sundried tomatoes, and eggs all contain relatively high levels of glutamine.

Try it: Start your day off right with an omelet. Then for dinner whip up some beef tacos in cabbage “shells,” which not only boosts your glutamine levels, but decreases your intake of refined carbs since you’re skipping the tortillas.

Which foods do you like to eat in order to curb sugar cravings? Share in the comments section below.


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