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What Makes You Crave Sweets?

author image Aglaee Jacob
Aglaee Jacob is a registered dietitian. She has experience working with people who have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and obesity issues. Jacob obtained a bachelor of science and a master of science, both in nutrition, from Laval University in Quebec City, Canada.
What Makes You Crave Sweets?
assortment of candy Photo Credit SerAlexVi/iStock/Getty Images

There are many reasons that can make you crave sweets and finding the cause is the first step to get rid of them. Sweets include all sugar-containing foods, such as candies, desserts, honey, maple syrup and molasses. Cravings may be difficult to resist and can lead to the consumption of large amounts of unneeded calories and carbohydrates, which can eventually result in weight problems and uncontrolled diabetes.

Carbohydrate Addiction

People consuming large amounts of carbohydrates, such as rice, french fries and other potato-based dishes, bread, bagels, muffins, baked goods, pasta, soft drinks, sweets and desserts, may experience large variations in their blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels drop slightly because of the high amount of insulin released in response to large amounts of carbohydrates, this induces carbohydrate and sugar cravings.


People with diabetes treated with hypoglycemic agents or insulin as well as people prone to reactive hypoglycemia can have intense sugar cravings when their blood sugar levels drop below the normal range, 70 milligrams per deciliter, according to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. Common symptoms associated with a diabetic hypoglycemia or reactive hypoglycemia include shakiness, weakness, dizziness, confusion, sweating and hunger, characterized by an especially strong desire to eat sweets or sugary foods.

Candida Overgrowth

Candida Albicans is a microorganism that lives in the gastrointestinal tract. However, under some circumstances, the population of candida can expand to other parts of the body, causing a variety of symptoms such as bloating, abdominal cramps, allergies, fatigue, mood swings, headaches, vaginal infections, joint pain and cold hands. Candida is a yeast and yeast thrives on sugar. Therefore, a candida overgrowth is often associated with intense and uncontrollable cravings for sweets.

Menstrual Cycle

PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, affects many women a few days before having their periods. Common PMS symptoms include fatigue, headaches, bloating and carbohydrate cravings. Women can experience a strong desire to eat sugary foods, as well as sugar, bread, pasta and pastries, because of the blood sugar level variations caused by the hormonal changes at this time of the menstrual cycle.

Getting Rid of Sugar Cravings

Cravings for sweets can be very strong and feel overpowering. However, a proper diet can help reduce and even eliminate these cravings. If you believe you are addicted to carbohydrate, suffer from hypoglycemic reactions, have wide blood sugar variations or are infected by candida, lowering your carbohydrate intake and selecting low glycemic index carbohydrates could help smooth your blood sugar levels throughout the day. The first weeks may be difficult, but if you stick to it, your cravings will diminish and eventually disappear.

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