The distinction between what you believe you desire and what your body actually requires
After a long day at work, it’s almost instinctive to collapse on the couch and drown our sorrows in a dish of ice cream or potato chips. We soon look down and see we’ve finished the full pint or bag. So, what makes these meals so enticing that we gorge mindlessly? According to a registered dietician at Texas A&M Health Science Centre, there is a distinction between what you believe your body desires and what it truly requires.
“Eating a recommended, balanced diet will cover most of your cravings,” says Taylor Newhouse, a registered dietitian at Texas A&M School of Public Health. However, as a culture, we prefer to shun green foods on our plates, depriving our bodies of essential nutrients.”
Sweet tooth insatiable
If you crave for sugary treats right away, it might be due to fluctuating blood sugar levels. “The body strives to maintain blood glucose (blood sugar) levels steady as they vary throughout the day,” noted Newhouse. “However, doing so is counterproductive; eating sugary foods will only feed this addiction and increase cravings.”
In reality, sugar causes the body to release endorphins, which make you feel joyful or comfortable. According to Newhouse, this’sugar high’ can also lead to overconsumption of simple carbs and bingeing, which is now regarded an established eating disorder. “”We overeat carbohydrates because they are easily digestible and provide the same energy boost as sugar,” she noted. “It’s critical that we learn to replace that ‘high’ with a healthy activity we enjoy, such as exercising.”
However, if you’re attempting to overcome a hunger, you shouldn’t push yourself too hard. Intense activity can also alert the body when its glucose reserves are exhausted. If you’re working out and decide you need a burger on the way home, this is your body’s way of telling you that it needs nutrition to heal.
“Incorporating more sweet fruits like berries or apples into your diet, as well as dark leafy greens like broccoli or kale, which are high in calcium,” Newhouse noted.
Hungry? Do not consume a chocolate bar…
Chocolate, like coffee, is nearly addictive. Because stress may cause chocolate cravings, scarfing down a chocolaty treat when we’re anxious is practically an instinctual act. Chocolate is also known to increase brain serotonin levels, which provide emotions of happiness or pleasure. This might explain why we feel ‘addicted’ to chocolate or sweets.
A magnesium deficit is another reason humans may want chocolate (chocolate contains high quantities of magnesium). Women may crave chocolate owing to hormonal shifts, or regular chocolate munching may indicate a vitamin B deficiency in the body.
“”A little chocolate is fine to satisfy cravings,” Newhouse remarked. “However, for a sweeter flavour, add healthier options like mixed nuts, a banana, or sauté greens like spinach with lemon, olive oil, garlic, and rosemary.”
That will be served with fries.
We’re all guilty of stress-eating and bingeing on certain foods when we’re bored or overwhelmed.Newhouse discovered that when we are stressed, our bodies naturally prefer quick meals or fattier foods.
“This might indicate a deficiency in critical fatty acids such as omega-3s,” she noted. “Our bodies do not naturally produce omega-3s, but you can supplement them or cook with oils like canola oil, extra virgin olive oil, or hemp oil to increase your intake.” your intake.”
Indulging shamelessly in a huge order of fries might also indicate that our bodies are wanting fat, but not all fats are created equal. When you crave something fried, consider replacing it with healthier choices like avocados and raw almonds, which are high in ‘healthy’ fats.
How to Distribute Salt
If you have a sudden need for chips or pretzels, you may be iron-deficient. “”When we crave salty foods, it’s a signal to eat more iron-rich foods,” Newhouse added. “Eating foods high in calcium, potassium, and iron can help to combat these cravings.”
Drinking a glass of milk, eating yoghurt, or preparing a salad with dark, leafy greens can all help to reduce our salt intake while improving calcium and iron levels. Newhouse suggests munching on bananas, sweet potatoes, avocados, or citrus fruits to increase potassium consumption.
Important to understand: During strenuous activity or a demanding workout, your body will lose salt and seek to restore it. “”If you’re outside working or working out, your body will lose salt through the process of sweating,” Newhouse added. “This can increase your cravings for salty foods.”
Are you just dehydrated?
Most hunger sensations and cravings can be alleviated by drinking more water. “We commonly misread the cues sent by our body.” Newhouse was added. “As a society, we are chronically dehydrated (FYI: thirst is the last resort signal for dehydration).” The next time you crave anything sweet or salty, consider quenching your thirst with a big glass of water. The conclusion may surprise you.”
Do you have a hankering for kale? It exists.
Yes, we occasionally want fresh meals and vegetables like kale or broccoli. This craving for fresh meals occurs frequently when your body demands more Vitamin C, calcium, iron, or magnesium. “If you start craving fruits and vegetables, go ahead and eat them!” Newhouse believes. “However, if you’re trying to limit your carbohydrate intake, you should still pay attention to the amount you eat.”
It all comes down to balance.
Balance is the key to a balanced diet and lifestyle. According to Newhouse, satisfying desires in moderation is totally natural, but you should also evaluate your nutrition during these times. “Think about the last time you ate dishes of every colour. “If you can’t remember when you last ate a tomato or berries, try snacking on those,” she said.