What Do Your Food Cravings Really Mean?

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PostWed Nov 07, 2012 8:57 pm » by Seriouscitizen


What Do Your Food Cravings Really Mean?
Written by Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath on 11/07/2012
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While cravings can mean a number of things including psychological reasons, a strong craving usually indicates your body is low in a specific nutrient, vitamin or mineral. The craving is an indication that it wants to make sure it gets what it needs, the difficult part these days is, we have so much processed unnatural food at our disposal that we often get confused about what our bodies are actually asking for. The foods you crave may NOT contain that nutrient and often the person eats unhealthy empty calories in place of nutrient dense wholefoods.

Having some knowledge about what our cravings can mean, may help us to reduce unhealthy habits and poor food choices.

Over eating can also be attributed to stress, loneliness, low serotonin and dopamine levels, depression, low blood sugar, boredom and more. I talk more about this in Hunger versus appetite.

There have been a number of studies that have shown sugar can affect the same brain regions as drugs and alcohol. People can experience a momentary mood improvement from sugar that will then be followed by a serious drop in mood and well-being; this is where people tend to reach for that sugary snack again. This pattern will set them up for an addictive cycle. Here is more on added sugar versus natural sugars.

Food or sugar addiction often goes unnoticed because the food choices change although the essential components are the same. Let’s take for example, a person rises in the morning drinks a glass of bottled juice (high in sugar and low in nutrients), has a processed white flour and sugar based cereal, mid-morning they eat a few biscuits or a muffin then for lunch it’s a sandwich, pasta or noodles, then afternoon tea they crave a sweet for a quick afternoon pick-me-up then it’s time for dinner and it’s off to grab something quick such as ready-made meals, hamburgers or pizza. White flour and sugar made up the majority of this person’s food intake with some bad fats for good measure. This person may see their food choices as different but essentially they were the same and they will often have strong cravings for refined carbohydrates and sugar on a daily basis and may not even realize this because it’s so natural to them.

What you eat regularly will also be closer to what your body will tend to crave. When a patient tells me that they never crave vegetables but they often crave sugar and salt, this person often doesn’t want them because their bodies to some degree have forgotten that they need them. You can’t really crave something that you eat rarely. So committing yourself to a Reboot will engage and remind the body what it actually wants and needs. Often people who have juiced regularly for some time will find that if they stop they really miss it and will notice a difference in their energy levels, thoughts and vitality.

The danger with unhealthy food cravings is it can stimulate binge eating in some individuals. This can be a serious health concern as it will contribute to obesity and poor health.

So here is a basic guideline as to what your body may actually need.

What your food cravings mean:

Chocolate – may indicate the need for magnesium, chromium, B-vitamins and/or essential fatty acids. Chocolate is high in magnesium so it is best to reach for the 100% cocoa in smoothies or snack on nibs or eat the darkest chocolate you can find. Here is a post about beating those chocolate cravings. Chocolate is also metabolized to serotonin, a mood boosting hormone so cravings can also be related to an emotional need. Besides healthy cocoa or dark chocolate, reach for a loved one, friend, pet or any activity that makes you feel good.

Carbohydrates (white flour based food cravings) – this may indicate insulin resistance, hypoglycaemia (blood sugar fluctuations), chromium deficiency or fatigue. This is separate to sweet cravings, often it can go unnoticed, people often crave crackers, savoury biscuits, noodles, white breads, chips, etc. Including more fiber in your diet for better blood sugar control and eating more chromium and magnesium rich fruits and vegetables such as bananas, apples, apricots, capsicum, spinach, beetroot, avocado, broccoli, celery, chard (silverbeet), carrot and parsnip will help overcome this craving.

Sugar – may indicate blood sugar imbalances and mineral deficiencies such as chromium and magnesium. Giving into biscuits, cakes, lollies, soft drinks or other refined sweets will only make the problem worse and cause a blood sugar roller coaster that leads to more cravings. Instead, choose a piece of fruit when you’re craving sweets. Here is more information on how to manage your sugar intake while rebooting. Sugar cravings are also more common when you are dehydrated and may signal a need for more water.

Salt – this can be aggravated from stress hormone fluctuations and low levels of electrolytes. Here is more information on how to increase electrolytes in your diet and during a reboot. B-vitamin rich foods are important during periods of stress. Consume foods such as nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Similar to sugar cravings, salt cravings can result from under hydration.

Fat –craving fried foods and other oily foods can indicated a simple essential fatty acid deficiency, simply eating more good quality fats will solve this in a flash. Here is more information on what fats and oils to consume for a healthy diet.

Cheese – this can also indicate an essential fatty acid deficiency as above.

Pica –cravings for non-food items such as ice, clay, dirt and chalk. This can often mean an iron deficiency or mineral deficiency in general. Consume plenty of dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds for the prevention of pica. This is more frequently seen in children and during periods of greater nutritional need such as pregnancy.

Note: This list is only an indication; cravings can mean different things for different people.

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PostWed Nov 07, 2012 9:49 pm » by Elnorel


Let me assure you, it is pure "WANT" for dopamine levels to rise OK.
SKEPTIC - One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.
And tries to prove these assertions/claims with scientific facts.

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PostWed Nov 07, 2012 10:03 pm » by SamueltheLion


sugar addiction = your demons demanding to be placated.

I CHALLENGE ANYONE: Don't eat sugar for a week, no, see if you can do it for a day...

hard without a vision isn't it?


What can our vision really be...

Personal and specific to us, It has to be.

A vision of actualizing our potential, which makes us happy when we realize that, although it is very difficult, it IS possible, when you take steps towards it! wooooooooooooooooooooo

yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee :D
Your faith will make you whole

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PostWed Nov 07, 2012 10:06 pm » by Spock


Funny, I just suffered a massive craving for salt. I don't think I've ever had that before. Anyway, I ended up getting a bag of cheez-its.

But I understand the sugar-craving, mine is for chocolate and it usually hits me around 2 - 3 p.m. everyday.

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PostWed Nov 07, 2012 10:24 pm » by Elnorel


I can probably go without sugar indefinitely,... well untill I come by some fine finger lickin, Nutella filled pancakes that is. :D

Just think about it. We consume carbohydrates every day without even knowing we are consuming them.

Bread, pasta, potatoes and any and all starchy veggies, cereals, oatmeal, sodas, fruit juices, fruit drinks, jelly and jams, pudding, custards, cakes, almost all bakery products.... That probably makes the list of best foods we like to indulge ourselves in.

Basicaly youre allowed to eat what some call "crappy green food", veggies.

Well the only veggie thing I love eating is POTATOES made in 1001 way.
FRIED is the best.
Using coconut oil to limit the fat and cholesterol intake if you like to worry too much.
Granted it is not as tasty prepared this way, but at least you're trying, right? :D
SKEPTIC - One who instinctively or habitually doubts, questions, disagrees with assertions or generally accepted conclusions.
And tries to prove these assertions/claims with scientific facts.

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PostWed Nov 07, 2012 10:38 pm » by Noentry


This post SC is giving me a craving for a...Chocolate Knickerbocker Glory
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There is no force more powerful in the universe.
I can not resist, resistance is futile.

I have needs. Love me!!!!
Screw that I am off to the freezer!!!!
:)
"The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority.
The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority.
The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking."
A. A. Milne

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PostWed Nov 07, 2012 10:48 pm » by Seriouscitizen


Noentry wrote:This post SC is giving me a craving for a...Chocolate Knickerbocker Glory
Image

There is no force more powerful in the universe.
I can not resist, resistance is futile.

I have needs. Love me!!!!
Screw that I am off to the freezer!!!!
:)

Nooooooooooooooooooooo dddddddddddoooooontt dooooo iittt

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PostWed Nov 07, 2012 11:18 pm » by E6722maj


i rarely eat. often i will go 2 or more days with no more than a couple of bags of crisps (that's chips in american). and of course beer. i tend to make a meal only when my body compels me to. i would guess that my weekly calorific intake is probably less than 25% of what is considered 'the norm'

.
whatever

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PostWed Nov 07, 2012 11:36 pm » by Thewatcher


The last 12 months since I've stopped managing and coaching football players I have put over a stone in weight on. :o

I crave chip shop food, big fresh cream cakes, I've even gone to taking out a full pack of chocolate digestives with a cup of tea ( dunking them ofcourse ) and I wouldn't mind I'm not even a chocolate lover. But my favourite is a five seeded loaf of bread with chopped pork, butter and lumpy piccalilli sauce. :o

Oh my the more I think about it I am going to keel over at this rate, I need to sort my diet out.

Thanks for the post it has made me realise where I'm going wrong.

:cheers:
''The Fear of Losing is the Biggest Winner''

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PostThu Nov 08, 2012 1:33 am » by SamueltheLion


Thewatcher wrote:The last 12 months since I've stopped managing and coaching football players I have put over a stone in weight on. :o

I crave chip shop food, big fresh cream cakes, I've even gone to taking out a full pack of chocolate digestives with a cup of tea ( dunking them ofcourse ) and I wouldn't mind I'm not even a chocolate lover. But my favourite is a five seeded loaf of bread with chopped pork, butter and lumpy piccalilli sauce. :o

Oh my the more I think about it I am going to keel over at this rate, I need to sort my diet out.

Thanks for the post it has made me realise where I'm going wrong.

:cheers:


once you divide your body from your soul, from your raw presence, the "I" which I am speaking of when I say "I", it gets a lot easier to resist temptations, and things which would be bad for you, because you can regognize the source of the craving, and choose to solve it in another way, instead of doing the automatic processing thing which would be: Identifying so strongly with your thoughts and feelings than you blindly follow along with them, and just do whatever they tell you to.

In that state, you are a real victim to advertising.
Your faith will make you whole


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