We all know that feeling. It’s just after lunchtime, you’re feeling a bit drowsy, and your co-worker just delivered a batch of fresh donuts to the breakroom. Your sugar craving is at an all-time high, and you’re tempted to grab a glazed donut, even though you’re not even hungry.
This situation is common at the workplace. While you might be trying to eat healthily and cut back on sweets, chances are, most of your co-workers might not be doing the same. Office “cake culture” definitely plays in role in many full-time employees cheating on their diets. And we get it – it’s hard to resist temptation when you see your colleagues enjoying leftover birthday cupcakes for breakfast.
The scariest part about sugar is that it adds up quickly. In fact, most American adults triple the recommended daily amount of sugar, and many fall into the category of sugar addicts. Not to mention, too much added sugar can lead to major health issues like high blood pressure, a weak immune system, and liver damage.
Fortunately, there are many healthy foods that will satisfy your sweet tooth with their natural sweetness. The next time you feel tempted to grab a cookie from the breakroom, opt out for one of these healthy choices instead:
Berries. Any kind of fruit is an obvious healthy choice when you’re craving something sweet. The natural sugars in fruit will give you an instant energy boost – unlike the unnatural added sugars found in candy, soda, or other treats. Berries are a great choice because they are sweeter-tasting than some other fruits. Snacking on some berries will seem more like a treat than eating a healthy snack. Eat them on their own, add them to your plain Greek yogurt, or mix them in your oatmeal when your sugar craving kicks in.
Sweet potatoes. Eat your veggies while satisfying your sweet tooth! Sweet potatoes are loaded with natural sweetness. Plus, they are one of the most healthy and versatile foods in the world! Try roasting sweet potatoes ahead of time (roasting helps make their sweet taste stand out even more!) and store them in the fridge. Microwave some slices and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon for a sweet, healthy snack.
Dark chocolate. A bit of dark chocolate a day is great for your overall health. Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants. Studies have found that eating a small amount of dark chocolate regularly can lead to lower blood pressure and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, calories from dark chocolate can add up quickly. Be sure to practice healthy moderation and enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate when you need something sweet.
Banana nice cream. Never heard of nice cream before? Meet your new favorite healthy alternative to ice cream! Banana nice cream is simply frozen bananas blended into a soft serve. You can add any other healthy ingredients you want – think dark chocolate chips, strawberries, or nuts. It’s just as delicious as regular soft serve – but without the extra added sugars or chemicals. Learn how to make some nice cream here.
Peanut butter protein balls. Homemade peanut butter protein balls are a great snack choice that will also crush your sugar craving. These make great post-workout snacks or serve as an excellent energy-booster at the office. Check out this recipe to easily make your own peanut butter protein balls at home.
Grilled pineapple. Who says pineapple doesn’t deserve a spot on the grill? Grilling pineapple brings out its natural sweetness and adds flavor to many different dishes. Try serving grilled pineapple as a side dish or appetizer at dinner to satisfy your sweet tooth – you won’t even crave a post-dinner dessert!
Cinnamon. This common household spice will crush your sugar cravings in no time. Plus, cinnamon has impressive health benefits, including lowering blood sugar levels and reducing heart disease risk factors. Sprinkle some on plain, low-fat Greek Yogurt, unbuttered popcorn, or oatmeal to add a dose of natural sweetness.
Frozen grapes. If you haven’t tried storing your grapes in the freezer, you’re missing out! Frozen grapes are so sweet, you’ll feel like you’re eating candy. Not to mention, grapes are filled with disease-fighting antioxidants. Replace your sugary popsicles with frozen grapes the next time you’re craving something cold and sweet.
Keep some of these healthy foods on-hand at your desk and at home. Cutting back on sugar will give you more energy, boost your mood, and help keep your weight in check. Make it easy for yourself to reach for these snacks when your sweet tooth comes knocking – they’ll instantly satisfy your sugar cravings.
What are your favorite healthy treats? Share some ideas below!
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