In the Kitchen, Living Ayurveda

Managing Your Sweet Tooth

Feb 15th

Ayurveda tells us that there’s room for sugar in a healthy diet, but it’s important to choose wisely. The key: Enjoy sweets in moderation and seek healthier alternatives when possible.

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Photo c/o Briana Balducci from Divya’s Kitchen

We all crave sweets from time to time. The question is: what do you do when the urge strikes? Do you indulge? Begrudgingly abstain? Or do you enjoy them fully, but in moderation? 

Most importantly: How do you feel after each of the above scenarios? Noticing how you feel after eating sweets (or any other kind of food) is essential for maintaining good health. It allows you to understand your ever-shifting needs and to make the right decisions about what to eat.

Most of the time, we turn to sweets when we’re tired, unmotivated or emotionally drained.  Unfortunately, these foods are limited in how much they help and overindulgence can lead to further imbalances.

5 simple tips

As an alternative, here are some simple tips for transforming sugar cravings (as well as the root feelings of fatigue and emotional heaviness):

  1. Incorporate foods of predominantly pungent, astringent, and bitter tastes. For example, you could use more spices, sunchokes, and dark leafy greens.
  2. Eat wholesome, nutritious meals like our kitcharis and soups with a moderate amount of ghee or olive oil (You can also find more seasonal recipes in Divya’s cookbook What to Eat for How You Feel).
  3. When you’re craving something sweet, ask yourself: Am I really deficient in sugar, or am I craving nourishing food? Am I actually seeking feelings of love, satisfaction, and pleasure that sweet foods seem to provide?
  4. If you can’t avoid giving in to your sugary pleasures, enjoy a small amount mindfully. Try to eat it slowly without distracting yourself. Feel the pleasure the sweetness creates and then tell yourself, “I’ve had enough. Thank you.” 
  5. When choosing sweets, aim for high quality and unprocessed options. For example, you can satisfy your craving by slowly licking a small teaspoon of raw honey. With its astringent-sweet taste, it’s an excellent choice when you feel heavy and sluggish. As a bonus, honey is low-glycemic and can help you lose weight!

Finally, you can find some excellent teas here at divyas.com that help balance blood sugar after eating sweets and reduce sugar cravings: Gymnema Brew, Vaidya’s Cup, Tripti Tea. Drink any of these after a meal and you will feel energized!

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