As many of you do, I love my sweet treats! Fill me up with frozen yogurt, top me off with tapioca or give me a Ghirardelli square, and I’m a happy camper! I crave these foods constantly and find the satisfaction of devouring an over-the-top dessert unmatchable. While craving sweets is natural for many, it may be the indication of some other missing nutrients in your otherwise balanced diet. In digging deeper, I had to ask the question: Is there a correlation between intense sugar cravings and a low-fat diet? Recent studies would suggest so.
Diet craze after diet craze confuses people into thinking they need to eliminate fat and carbohydrates from their diet, but these nutrients are critical for healthy brain function and energy levels. By reducing or removing these from the diet, you end up craving other toxins, including sugar, which is shown to have a higher impact on weight gain than fat.
So what is the solution? Give up that daily bowl of frozen yogurt and swap it out for a block of cheese? Not necessarily. If you choose the RIGHT kinds of fats and stay within reasonable limits of satisfying your sweet tooth, you can have the best of both worlds.
Heart-healthy unsaturated fats found in foods such as almonds, avocados and olives help to lower ‘bad’ cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Whereas unhealthy saturated fats that are commonly found in pizza and sausage can wreak havoc on your body. The goal is to consume a healthy amount of the healthy fats and eliminate saturated fats as much as possible.
Too much sugar, on the other hand, is never good. Yes, you can enjoy a sweet treat every so often, but going overboard on the soft drinks, donuts and candy can contribute to weight gain, diabetes and a weakened immune system.
It’s interesting to see the correlation between everything you eat, but finding a balance is something we should all strive toward every day. You know your body best and how you react to different foods – whether you gain weight, feel sluggish or experience cravings – so listen to your body to understand what you need more or less of in your diet.