When you suddenly feel a powerful food craving, what do you reach for? Is it sweet, salty, carbs or something fatty?
Cravings are messages that our body sends our brain, often when we’re needing a certain nutrient or even experiencing some kind of ‘downer’ either nutritionally or mentally.
So these cravings aren’t as random as you think… and actually you could tell some really important information if you know what they all mean!
Sugar is one common craving (salt, carb and fat cravings are coming in next blog posts.)
See what it could actually mean for you:
Sugar: Do you crave anything sweet – e.g. biscuits, lollies, ice-cream, cake or perhaps natural sweets like banana, dates, honey or just anything that tastes sweet?
It could really be a sign of…
Low serotonin (the feel good brain chemical that is low in depression and anxiety)
Unrelenting stress or Adrenal Fatigue (the outcome of too much stress for too long)
Imbalanced gut bacteria (digestive issues)
You’re eating to much pasta, rice, potatoes and have a sugar addiction
Low chromium (helps get glucose where we need it – a good thing.)
Further Explanation: Usually there are 2 reasons you reach for something sweet:
1. If you’re needing more energy. But this gives you a quick high and then a quick drop in energy which is actually the way adult onset Diabetes kicks off as our insulin levels become erratic over time.
2. Secondly you’re needing to improve your mood and you reach for sweet food without being aware that it’s that quick hit of dopamine that you search for (especially when we’re stressed!) Similar to the hit which drug and gambling addictions give. The problem here. is that as our brain becomes addicted to sugar, in turn our natural ‘feel good’ chemicals in our brain become reduced and depleted, causing worse anxiety, lack of energy and depression. This is a downward cycle, one thing having a knock on effect with another.
Our gut bacteria also can drive our cravings by demanding sugar to thrive. So changing our gut microbiome (good vs bad gut bacteria) can be very effective at reducing our food cravings which in turn can lead to weight gain.
How to stop you cravings:
Eat chromium rich foods which reduce the energy dips. Good sources are beef, carrots, broccoli, green beans and turkey or you can supplement.
Make sure you breakfast contains PFF. Protein, Fibre and Fats (good ones!) These will stabilize your blood sugar and stop it dropping which causes these cravings.
Eat fermented foods as these sour foods actually prevent and stop sugar cravings. They also balance your gut microbiome so that the bad guys aren’t demanding sugar. So eat sauerkraut, or if you bored with sauerkraut try kimchi, miso, kombucha tea. Eating a range of fermented foods is better as these give you different good bacteria so don’t have the same ones all the time.
Eat savory snacks (when ever you feel like sweet.) Try some walnuts, almonds, natural full fat yoghurt or some kefir to boost energy that will last!
Exercise reduces sugar cravings and balances our blood sugar and hormones
Make healthy dessert and have once a week so you don’t feel like you’re resenting your diet. A great one is chocolate avocado mouse (google a recipe.)
Next week I’ll be helping you with the other cravings you may be getting. Here we’ll keep it short and sweet 🙂