Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but just because you’re on a low carb diet doesn’t mean you have to ditch your sweet tooth. While cravings can be a vicious cycle when it comes to a sweet tooth, if you reduce your carbs, it results in a significant reduction in cravings, especially if you’re a woman.
You can satisfy your sweet tooth if you pair a low carb sweet treat such as low-glycemic berries with a bit of protein like nuts or a fat such as heavy cream to temper your cravings and appetite. Try these 13 tips for controlling your cravings and picking the right treats to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Even better? There is room for a little chocolate on your low carb diet. Dark chocolate might be a mood booster, as it may increase production of the feel-good chemical serotonin in your brain and it is also rich in flavonoids—antioxidants that come from plants. Studies also show that people who consume dark chocolate may have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke*. What makes chocolate unhealthy is when the cacao beans are heated and overprocessed and milk and sugar are added. You can satisfy your chocolate fix in a healthy way with one to two squares of dark chocolate containing at least 72 percent cacao. But be sure to indulge with caution. If this triggers your cravings for more sweets, you might want to steer clear.
If you would like to give your sweet tooth a little love, try these berry-licious and chocolatey low carb Valentine’s Day recipes:
- Gallus S, Tavani A, La Vecchia C. “Response to Chocolate, Well-Being and Health Among Elderly Men: Chocolate and Acute Myocardial Infarction in a Case-Control Study from Italy.” Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009;63: 588–589
- Buijsse B, Feskens EJ, Kok FJ, et al. “Cocoa Intake, Blood Pressure, and Cardiovascular Mortality: the Zutphen Elderly Study.” Arch Intern Med. 2006; 166:411–417.
- Djousse L, Hopkins PN, North KE, et al. “Chocolate Consumption is Inversely Associated with Prevalent Coronary Heart Disease: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study.” Clin Nutr. 2011; 30(2):182-7
- Gallaeno M, Oteiza Pa, Fraga, C. “Cocoa, Chocolate and Cardiovascular Disease.”J. Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2009; 54 (6): 483-490