Wellness + Nutrition

Nutritious alternatives to foods you crave

Nearly everyone has experienced a craving for something sweet, salty or crunchy. While these cravings are natural, they may make you reach for not-so-healthy foods and drinks that are high in carbs, fat and sugar. 

Starchy and sugary foods can stick to your teeth and cause bacteria in your mouth to become more acidic, leading to tooth decay. Here are some ways to satisfy those cravings while protecting your oral health.

Craving something sweet?


Reach for fresh fruit like berries and apple slices, which can naturally provide you the sweet taste you’re longing for. Whip together a parfait or smoothie using some fresh fruit and yogurt. If you're treating yourself to some candy, choose plain dark chocolate that can melt quickly instead of caramel, hard candies or gummies that can stick to your teeth and increase your chance of cavities.


Craving something salty?


Grab a handful of nuts such as almonds, cashews and peanuts, which are packed with calcium and can help your teeth and gums stay healthy. Or if you’re longing for french fries, steam a bag of edamame and sprinkle with sea salt. This high-protein snack can satisfy that salty craving with less fat and starch.


Craving something crunchy?


Try some carrot or celery sticks paired with our beet hummus recipe. Munching on healthy fruits and veggies increases saliva flow and helps clean your teeth. If nothing but chips will do, try healthier baked alternatives made with apples, sweet potatoes or kale, which have less fat and fewer calories than potato chips.


Craving carbs?


Choose whole grains instead of white bread and rice, which can stick to your teeth and cause cavities. Try making family-favorite mac and cheese with whole-grain pasta. Or enjoy some kidney, lima, pinto or black beans — packed with protein and fiber, they’ll keep you feeling full longer than other types of carbs.

Set yourself up for success when cravings hit. Stock your pantry and prepare your meals and snacks in advance. By making it easy to grab healthy foods, you will increase your chance of success.