4 Unhealthy Snacks That Increase Your Sugar Cravings


We all have a sugar craving, but we don't want to worsen it.

The most convenient food item is the easiest thing to grab when you're hungry. Snacks that are easy to come by tend to come prepackaged with easy-to-open wrappers for you to open and devour, and they're usually not very healthy. It's easy to take a high-processed good out of the wrapper when you're craving something sweet, but does it satisfy your cravings or worsen them?

Although the goal of a snack is to fill you up and keep you satisfied, some snacks have the opposite effect. We polled experts to find out which snacks are the most unhealthy and will only worsen your sugar cravings. They all agreed that sugary snacks and a few other types are among the worst snacks to consume.

"The crazy excess of added sugar in our food supply (and your diet) is, in my opinion, the number one problem in this country right now when it comes to health," says Laura Burak, MS RD CDN, founder of GetNaked® Nutrition and author of Slimdown with Smoothies. "It's not your fault that you don't realize how much sugar you're consuming. Food companies hide ingredients behind healthier-sounding terms like syrups and brown sugar, but your body processes them."

Burak says that foods high in sugar can cause your blood sugar to spike and drop rapidly, signaling your body to look for more. Sugary foods also release dopamine; a "feel good" chemical that makes you want to keep eating them.

Continue reading to learn about specific snacks that aggravate sugar cravings.

1. Sugary Cereal For Breakfast

"While many of us believe that eating breakfast cereal or snacking on cereal for an energy boost is healthy, many bowls of cereal are sweetened with sugar, contain no fiber, and are the equivalent of eating cookies," says Lisa Young, Ph.D., RDN, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim and The Portion Teller Plan.

These cereals, according to Young, have no fiber or protein. They cause a rapid rise in blood sugar as a result of this. If you want a breakfast cereal as a snack or in the morning, she recommends looking for one with at least 3 g of fiber and as little added sugar as possible, preferably none.

2. Soda

"Sugary foods make your body accustomed to the sweetness. If you're used to drinking a soda with your meal every day and don't, your body will crave the sugar "Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND, author of Diabetes Create Your Plate Meal Prep Cookbook, is a medical expert.

According to Young, soda and other sugary drinks are devoid of nutrients and are pure sugar. After drinking a large soda, you will crave more sugar because the liquid calories will be quickly digested.

"We also don't realize we've ever eaten anything, and we're not satisfied," Young adds.

3. Sugary Snacks

"Keeping candy in your purse or car to snack on might not be the best idea," Amidor warns. "That sugar rush is quickly digested, acclimating your body to all that sweetness."

Amidor recommends making a homemade trail mix with sweet dried fruit and nuts if you want a healthier snack. The fat and protein in the nuts will slow the sugar's digestion and keep you fuller for longer.

"Sugar can be mentally and physiologically addictive, so a few pieces of candy can easily turn into several handfuls, and you feel like you can't stop," says Burak. "Snacks high in sugar, such as candy, chocolate, cookies, muffins, and even breakfast cereals, can exacerbate sugar cravings and make it difficult to stop."

"Jelly beans and other sugary candies are pure sugar, and the more you eat, the more you want," Young explains. "These are not filling because they contain only sugar and no other nutrients, and they cause a spike in your blood sugar, making you want more."

Young recommends portioning and eating a small piece after a meal that includes fiber and protein if you want a small piece as a treat.

4. Salty Snacks

According to Burak, although sugary snacks are the most common denominator for heightened sugar cravings, salty snacks such as chips and pretzels are also contenders. This is because they're mostly made up of simple carbohydrates, leading to overeating.

"Better quality snacks with protein to help stabilize blood sugar, such as nuts with fruit or cheese with whole-grain crackers, will help you feel satisfied and bridge the gap until your next meal," says Burak.

Previous Post Next Post