Healthy Foods To Help Combat Sugar Cravings In Early Recovery

Alcohol is produced by the fermentation of sugars. Alcoholics are addicted to alcohol, but they are also addicted to the sugars alcohol creates. When a patient comes to detox and treatment at Castle Craig they are brought into an environment of wellness where they will be restored to optimum health of mind, body, and spirit. During and after detox, many patients start to experience cravings for sugar. As alcohol leaves their body, the brain craves a drink and the body craves the sugar the drink produces. Constant cravings for sweets, chocolates, candies, and other delicious treats can be as overwhelming as the craving for a drink. Candy is significantly less harmless than alcohol. However, indulging a constant candy urge can provide problems to a patient.

Sugar is not good for health. Food has natural sugars, like those found in fruits, vegetables, and carbohydrates. Added sugar and refined sugar, like the kinds found in sweets, are not good for the body or the brain. In recovery, the holistic self- meaning the mind, body, and spirit- is learning how to navigate cravings without giving into them. Though giving into a bag of treats is less damaging than a bottle of alcohol, the reward system is the same: difficult experience, harmful reward. Sugar acts in the brain the same way drugs and alcohol do by producing a flood of dopamine, a brain chemical responsible for signals of pleasure. As an addictive substance, sugar can quickly become a crutch and an inhibitor of progress in treatment. Moving forward after their treatment programme at Castle Craig completes, patients feel prepared to make healthy choices in their dietary lives to support their mental health and spiritual well being. These are ten foods that patients can choose to indulge in when they experience sugar cravings. Without the stimulation response of reward, the brain will not develop the same attachment.

  • Bananas: Bananas are a naturally sweet food that are also satisfying. With bananas, it is hard to eat more than one in the fashion of other fruits and treats. One mindfully eaten banana will provide enough sweetness.

  • Tea: Herbal tea is good for recovery in many healing ways. Having a cup of tea during an especially challenging craving can provide tremendous benefits for wellness.

  • Dates: Dates are often used as sugar replacements in foods. Naturally sweet and sticky, this ancient pitted food helps your stomach feel full and satisfied.

  • Strawberries: Strawberries can be incredibly sweet on their own. Though its a custom to dip strawberries in sugar, the added sugar isn’t necessary. The longer you abstain from sugar the more sweet natural sugars will taste. At one point, you’ll be surprised how unbearably sweet a strawberry becomes.


Castle Craig has served over 10,000 patients for 25 years with a proven model for drug and alcohol treatment. Our emphasis on holistic health helps us change lives by promoting wellness in life. Call us today to find out about our residential programme for drugs and alcohol by calling our 24 hour free confidential phone-line: 0808 256 7958. From outside the UK please call: +44 808 271 7500

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