Cravings can hit at any time, for many different reasons and often at certain times of the day or night.
The brain’s main source of fuel comes from glucose. If the body detects low blood sugar levels it will raise stress hormones and therefore you will experience strong cravings for starchy, sugary carbs.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Contrary to popular belief, wholegrain foods such as wheat and pasta are not high in fibre! Their relative levels of fibre to sugar are surprisingly quite low. Many processed beige, dead foods made from wholegrain tend to have many added sugars too.
These foods are also low in water and protein meaning they are not ideal for balancing blood sugar levels and could leave you craving more later.
There are two types of fibre: Soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre is best for managing blood sugar as it slows down digestion and keeps you full much longer.
Insoluble is the type that adds bulk to your waste, keeping the bowels efficient and so aiding elimination. It’s best to get a good mix of both in your diet.
The trick to avoiding excessive cravings is to keep your blood sugar levels balanced. The worst thing we can do for cravings is to reach for the very thing your brain wants! A quick fix!
This will create a super fast rise in blood sugar and a super fast fall creating the same thing over and over.
So what causes cravings in the first place?
A diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugars Negativity
Lack of sunlight
Emotional upset, depression or stress
When blood sugar levels are low, even the strongest will power in the world can’t override the powerful hormones that drive us to eat foods that raise our blood sugar levels.
The trick is to try to manage the cause of cravings as much as possible. Here are some ideas:
A regular sleep pattern and good sleep hygiene
A good work life/balance
Leisure walking and yoga
Cuddles and hugs
Protein-based main meals with plenty of fibre to manage blood sugar throughout the day
Sometimes it isn’t always possible to prevent or manage stressful events that occur and so rather than reach for the sugary starches I have created a list of snacks high in fibre to pick up when carb cravings hit and so keep those cravings at bay!
Apple or pear with a handful of almonds
Nuts are a great source of fibre. Especially those with their skins intact. Apples are naturally sweet but high in pectin, a soluble fibre, that slows the release of the natural fruit sugars. Eat the skin increase the fibre content and slow the digestion of sugars into the bloodstream.
Vegetables with houmous
Houmous is made from chickpeas which is rich in fibre and antioxidants. Add super fibrous vegetables such as celery for a very filing food with a crunch.
Sometimes when we are stressed and crave carbs and having a crunchy high fibre snack food can really help. Carrots, sugar snaps or peppers are a great option too.
These little fibre packed gems are perfect for adding to yoghurts, soups and baking. Not only are they high in craving busting fibre they also contain a high proportion of protein to help manage blood sugars.
They are said to absorb 10-12 times their weight in water forming a filling gel in your tummy! You can create your own home made chia puddings and leave in the fridge. Chia seeds are the perfect addition to your list of daily snacks high in fibre!
This fabulous nutrient packed food is high in fibre and beneficial fats. It also packs a protein punch making it very filling. Simply cut in half and scoop the flesh out with a spoon. You could add a squeeze of lemon, seasoning and balsamic vinegar for taste.
Sweet potato and root vegetable chips
Batch bake in the oven and you have a ready made snack high in fiber to pick up when carb cravings hit. Wash them but leave the skins in tact. Then chop up the root vegetables such as sweet potato and butternut squash into wedges or chips and roast in the oven with coconut oil and seasoning.
Root vegetables are much lower in natural sugars than regular potato and left with their skins on, they add a massive punch of craving busting fibre!
Chocolate and spinach protein shake
Spinach is a powerhouse of nutrition and fibre. Blend your usual chocolate protein shake with a handful of spinach. The extra fibre and protein together will keep you full for hours.
Even better, add chia seeds and leave for 10mins to set making a delicious mousse as the chia seeds form a gel!
Fresh or frozen berries make a great snack. They are low in natural sugars relative to fibre content. You can eat lots without upsetting your blood sugars. Eat on their own for a high fibre snack or add a dollop of greek yoghurt and chia seeds to increase fibre and protein content even further.
Homemade trail mix
Nuts and seeds are a great source of dietary fibre along with good fats and protein. Buy a batch of nuts and seeds such as pistachios, brazils, cashews and walnuts.
Add a selection of mixed seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin and sesame. Add some dried coconut flakes, cocoa nibs and goji berries for more taste and flavour. Grab a handful to make a perfect high fibre snack for when the cravings hit!
So now you have the perfect selection of high fibre snacks for when the carb cravings hit!