Why does a person with diabetes crave sugar?

Updated: May 16, 2024 | Published:

Diabetes mellitus is a health issue that must be controlled immediately after diagnosis to preserve one’s health and well-being. If it is found later in life, changing eating habits and accepting the new lifestyle demanded because of the condition can be quite challenging. For some individuals, understanding the main reasons for previously discussed changes can make the transformation much easier; that’s why today we would like to not only talk more about why people with diabetes crave sweets but also discuss some excellent alternatives that can make it easier to get used to a new diet. Let’s start the discussion!

Please remember that diabetes is a dangerous disease if not controlled on time. Please, contact your doctor, get the prescription, and buy insulin online of the required type to ensure it is within the normal range. 

Do people with diabetes crave sugar? Why?


Sugar cravings, diabetes, sweets – all of those come together in one great combination that can sometimes be out of control. And suppose non-diabetic individuals experience sugar cravings since childhood (starting from the mom’s milk, which can later develop into a sweet tooth) for people with diabetes. In that case, craving sweets can mean more than just astrological desires.

Those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus usually crave something sweet when their blood sugar levels are too low; thus, eating sugar makes it possible to get them back to normal and safe levels. Suppose a balanced diet is not followed and sweets are consumed uncontrollably. In that case, it may lead to not only certain diabetes complications but also negatively affect one’s health, be the reason for obesity and heart diseases, blood pressure issues, and other unfortunate problems.

Moreover, don’t forget: the more you eat – the more you crave. With time, it’ll be more manageable and easier to cut off junk food from the diet. It isn’t easy at the beginning.

Why is it important for people with diabetes to watch their sugar intake?

Checking Diabetes

Insulin is the hormone produced naturally in the body; its primary responsibility is to turn carbs into glucose and transport it from the bloodstream to the body cells so that later it can be used to produce energy when needed.

As for people with diabetes, their bodies cannot do it independently; insulin shots are required to keep them healthy, active, and strong. They are also crucial to ensure glucose is not accumulated in the bloodstream; if this issue is not appropriately controlled, kidneys, eyes, nerves, and other organs can be damaged badly.

Thus, to not let this problem affect one’s life dramatically, it is vital to discuss the correct treatment schemes with a doctor, choose the most suitable insulin options, start eating consistent meals, and try to keep up with a healthy lifestyle in general. Only in this way will it be possible to avoid extremely high blood glucose levels and preserve one’s well-being properly. However, living with diabetes doesn’t automatically assume you won’t have any sweet treats; there are plenty of alternatives, and we would like to discuss them in the paragraph below. Read and learn!

How to satisfy sugar cravings for people with diabetes?

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes recently and are not quite used to controlling your blood sugar level all the time, it can be pretty hard to change certain food habits and restrain your cravings. That’s why we prepared seven helpful tips and tricks to go over sugar addiction and simultaneously treat yourself to something delicious and healthy. Let’s start!

  • #1. Eat sugar substitutes. A few sweeteners can be used as an alternative to sugar – sucralose, aspartame, neotame, and others. Natural sweeteners are also an option; we believe everybody has already heard about stevia;
  • #2. Choose fresh fruit. The best thing about those is that complex carbs and soluble fiber are included, so one’s cravings can be easily satisfied without harm to blood sugars. Apples, pears, papaya – pick whatever you like!
  • #3. Count the carbs. According to The American Diabetes Association (ADA), consuming approximately 45-60 grams of carbohydrates is recommended per meal. If you crave sweets and cannot refuse yourself that, try to keep your intake in this range at least;
  • #4. Consume more dark chocolate. It tastes delicious, can improve insulin response, and makes it much easier to maintain blood sugar levels. Milk or white chocolate is not suitable for this goal as they may contain added sugar that affects blood glucose levels pretty badly;
  • #5. Look for sugar-free snacks. There are plenty of sugar-free alternatives for your favorite snacks, so you need to look for them in your local supermarket or just order online;
  • #6. Eat more protein and fiber. The best option here is to include more legumes into one’s diet: beans, chickpeas, lentils, and others. They help you feel fuller for longer and reduce sugar cravings which are often caused by hunger;
  • #7. Retrain your taste buds. Reducing sugar is important and does not gradually stress the body too much. Try this: instead of three cubes of sugar in your morning coffee, add only two, and reduce it after a week; or, for example, switch to sugar-free cookies. After some time, your body will get used to these adjustments and won’t demand so much sugar.

The final word about the sugar craving

Craving sugar is a natural thing typical for practically anyone out there. While for some people eating an extra cookie is something innocent and helpful, for others, it can be a disaster. Of course, we are talking about diabetes mellitus patients. Understanding and controlling your sugar cravings can be incredibly important, so we provided you with some valuable tips on how to do it; hopefully, you will find them useful. Don’t forget that it is always possible to talk with a nutritionist in case you are unsure how to readjust the diet. That’s it for today; thank you for reading the article!


About Amy T. Smith

Amy is a mother, writer, and your go-to expert for real-life insights into parenting, health, and lifestyle. Amy holds a Master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University and prides herself on finding actionable tips and relatable tales.

Through her blog, AmyandRose, she supports you from pregnancy to the teenage years, offering assurance that your experiences are shared.

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