How to Combat Sugar Cravings During Menopause
Peri/menopause can bring on mood symptoms, from increased anxiety to intense swings between sadness and rage. In these times, we may turn to sugary things for the instant hit of pleasure and the brief vacation from whatever is stressing us out in real life.
But sugar has a dark side, too, from crashes to health problems — and that's especially true during menopause and perimenopause.
Here are tips to help you manage your sugar cravings to stave off headaches, fatigue, anxiety about weight gain, and more.
Tip #1: Hydrate to combat sugar cravings
Did you know that sugar can actually cause you to become dehydrated? Sugar-y beverages like energy drinks, colas, and hyper-sweetened coffee beverages may give you an energy jolt, but the feeling will be short-lived, and the dehydration will leave you feeling worst and more exhausted in the end (this is doubly true if the drink contains caffeine, which is also dehydrating). Reach for a large glass of cold water instead of a diet soda to help perk you up in the afternoon.
If you want to have some flavor in your water (or want to pretend you're at a fancy spa), add a few slices of lemon or cucumber to your daily drink, or check out "water recipes" on TikTok.
Tip #2: Choose fruit sugar
If your sugar craving can't be battled, choose fruits instead of chocolate, candies, cookies, or ice cream. Apples, bananas, mangoes, grapes, dates, and persimmons are all great fruits that are sweet enough to help you combat sugar cravings. Fruit sugars aren't the same as the refined sugar that comes from eating a brownie; it will boost your blood sugar level, although it will be a mild boost and not a spike as you might experience from refined sugars.
If you're looking for a new idea, go for an Elvis-style treat and smear a tablespoon of peanut butter on a banana for a delicious and decadent taste sensation will boost energy levels while adding protein and fiber to your diet.
Tip #3: Go for complex carbs
You've probably heard that carbs are bad for your health. But not all carbs are the same. Refined carbs found in white bread, white pasta, ice creams, sodas, chips, and baked goods are the ones you should keep your eye on. These kind of carbs are quickly absorbed into your blood, causing blood sugar spikes.
Complex carbs, however, are good for your health. Foods like whole grains, sweet potatoes, and whole-meal bread get absorbed slower and keep you full for longer as well, making you less likely to experience sugar cravings.