Do Food Cravings Actually Mean Anything?
We all crave certain foods at certain times. While we might be strong enough to resist the bad ones at times, we also succumb to them when the desire overwhelms us. Other times, however, the craving might be for a healthy food, which starts to beg the question: do we crave a certain food because of some form of deficiency? Is it our body saying we need more of something specific?
We all know that we do requires certain amounts of different nutrients and minerals. A balance between proteins, carbs, and fats is better than loading up on only one of them. So perhaps to crave is to be biologically driven towards this balance. Well, as an article in the Huffington Post points out, this likely isn’t the case:
“If cravings were an indicator of nutritional deficiency, we’d all crave fruits and vegetables,” adds Karen Ansel, a nutritionist. “The fact that we all want high carb, high fat comfort foods, along with the research, is a pretty good indicator that cravings aren’t related to deficiencies.”
“[…] commonly craved foods like mac and cheese or grilled cheese sandwiches or cookies — are childhood foods. They are associated with happy memories, with a feeling of being soothed,” says Ansel. What’s more, there’s a feedback loop of positive reenforcement. Foods that are high in fat and sugar assist in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps us feel calm and relaxed. So when we eat the foods we crave, we remember that it worked and we may return to that same food the next time we need a fix.
It turns out our bodies and their evolutionary past are pointing us in the wrong direction. Cravings are not a call for a healthy balance, the only way we can achieve that is through brute conscious force. Check out the full article for more.
About Sam Brinson Sam is a writer living in Uruguay. Sam follows the latest in aging break throughs.