The Reason Why You Can’t Quit Sugar —(Plus 50 Low-Sugar Paleo Snack Ideas)

Written By


Expert Reviewed By

Dr. Lauryn Lax, OTD, MS

Dr. Lauryn, OTD, MS is a doctor of occupational therapy, clinical nutritionists and functional medicine expert with 25 years of clinical and personal experience in healing from complex chronic health issues and helping others do the same.

Sugar 1000X675 1 | The Reason Why You Can’t Quit Sugar —(Plus 50 Low-Sugar Paleo Snack Ideas)

Must. Have. Sugar!!! Sound familiar?

The struggle is real: Sugar is 8 times more “addicting” to our brains than cocaine, making sugar (artificial sweeteners included) one of the top drugs in America.

The best way to get over your craving?

Segway—to other foods that could meet your need.

Instead of getting into the diet mentality—and psyching yourself up that you “must cut out sugar, or else!”—instead, substitute your cravings with another type of snack that may be the “missing link” you were missing all along (like healthy fats).

Often times, the reason sugar cravings strike is because we are experiencing a dip in our blood sugar levels at a cellular level. When this happens, all we want are the cookies, Halo Top, In addition, many people try to “kick their cravings” with artificial sweeteners. However, research shows that artificial sweeteners—stevia included—only turn up our need (and craving) for sugar, and more sweeteners, even more.

For instance, one study showed that fruit flies fed sucralose (i.e. Splenda) ended up consuming 30 percent more daily calories when they had access to naturally sweetened food. When the researchers removed the sucralose, the effect vanished. They concluded that when the brain’s reward centers experience sweet flavor sensations the ‘need’ for nourishment is also turned on. Since the fake sweetener doesn’t deliver the expected calories, the flies went looking for more calorie-rich food to restore balance.

No more pulls and tugs necessary with these tips and snack ideas to help satisfy any “sweet tooth” that seems like a lost cause!

6 Tips to Curb Sugar Cravings

  1. . Cook with Ghee, Butter, Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil & Olive Oil. Olive oil is best for low-medium heat foods (like sautéing veggies), where as the other fats do well with higher temp. cooking.
  1. Start the day off with a protein-fat based breakfast, and opt for a protein or fat at snack time. Satiating and help curb sugar cravings.
  1. 3. Add citrus like grapefruit, lemon, orange, or cucumber/mint to your water, and end a meal with cinnamon or hazelnut tea
  1. Cut back on fruit. Fruit is great but if you’ve been a sugar abuser, sometimes snacking more on fruit only perpetuates cravings.
  1. Have your cake and eat it too. Find simple swaps for your old sugar habits (check out today’s bonus recipe) and eat with a “nourished” (least restrictive) mindset. When you pose sugar as “off limits,” then it makes you want more. Aim for balanced meals, and, occasionally enjoy a cookie or piece of chocolate—(one, not 24).
  1. Try these sugar-swap rituals:
  • Eat breakfast a little later or up your protein/fat at the meal to stave off the 10 a.m. dip
  • Stay prepared—keep a baggie of nuts, jerky or coconut butter packet in your purse
  • Brush your teeth after meals
  • Get up and move during your afternoon slump—walk, take a break, run an errand, do something
  • Order a tea and savor it

Sugar Swap Snack Ideas

Eat a snack with protein or fat when a sugar craving strikes to give your body what its really asking for (lasting energy), like one of these snacks:

    1. Cacao Nibs—Pure raw cocoa, or Coconut Chip Crisps
    2. Cinnamon or Chai Tea with a splash of Coconut Milk
    3. Coconut Butter
    4. Cinnamon—Sprinkle on foods like coconut or full-fat organic yogurt, baked apples/pears with coconut oil or ghee
    5. Banana Chia Pudding (homemade, sugar free)
    6. Sweet Potato “Chips” drizzled with Olive Oil
    7. Full-fat, Organic Raw Cheese (sparingly if no stomach upset)
    8. Roasted Chicken or other leftover protein
    9. Raw nuts/seeds (Almonds, Macadamia Nuts, Walnuts, Pecans)
    10. Dark Chocolate Square (70-100%)
    11. Hard-Boiled Eggs or “Deviled Eggs” with guacamole
    12. Nitrate-Free Jerky
    13. Nitrate-Free Salmi
    14. Homemade Chia-Seed Pudding (coconut milk base)
    15. Kale Chips + Nutritional Yeast + Dried Cranberries
    16. Avocado or Guacamole + Plantain Chips or Baby Carrots
    17. Celery with Sunbutter
    18. 1/2 Banana + 1-2 tbsp. Almond Butter or Coconut Butter
    19. Proscuitto around a Pickle or Melon
    20. Baby Carrots & Cucumbers + Paleo Ranch
    21. Grain-Free Paleo Granola
    22. Plain Coconut Yogurt or Goat’s Milk Yogurt/Kefir
    23. Jicama with Ham & Turkey
    24. Olives
    25. Homemade Collagen Protein & Coconut Butter Energy Bites
    26. Grass-fed Butter or Ghee, spread on Seed Crackers
    27. Roasted Beets with Goat Cheese
    28. Hummus + Carrots & Cucumber
    29. Handful Cherries + Pecans
    30. Frozen Grapes + Pistachios
    31. Wild Caught Tuna + Avocado Oil Mayo
    32. Roasted Broccoli + Nutritional Yeast & Avocado Oil
    33. Turkey Meatball Bites with Raisins, Sage & Cinnamon
    34. Baked Apple or Pear Slices (drizzled with Cinnamon & Coconut Oil)
    35. Coconut Flour Muffins
    36. “Fried” Cauliflower Rice (Cauliflower, riced and pan fried in coconut oil + coconut amino & scallions)
    37. Cold Pressed Green Juice (sweetened with lemon or grapefruit)
    38. Coconut Macaroons (homemade, sweetened with touch of raw honey or maple syrup)
    39. Roasted Green Beans + Almonds
    40. Cherry Tomatoes + Fresh, Raw Mozzarella
    41. Additive-Free Protein Powder, shake up in water
    42. Turkey Bacon + Avocado
    43. Bacon Wrapped Date
    44. Grass-fed Burger Patty + Sauerkraut
    45. Nitrate-Free Pepperoni Chips + Guacamole
    46. Peel & Eat Shrimp
    47. Zucchini Noodles with Avocado Basil Pesto
    48. Primal Kitchen Protein Bars , RX Bars  , or Bulletproof Collagen Bars
    49. Additive-Free Protein Powder  -shake up in water
    50. Chicken “Tenders” (Coconut Flour Breading) dipped in Paleo Honey Mustard
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