Do you crave salty potato chips, creamy ice-cream or the sweet flavor of rich, dark chocolate? Today traditional elimination diets are nutrient deficient, which means you’re probably missing out on valuable nutrients. Here are ten things your cravings are telling you about your diet. Pay close attention to your cravings to figure out what you need to do in order to stay slim and healthy.
Many people crave sweets, but did you know what it means? Cravings for candy, frosting, cakes and other goodies are an indication of fluctuations in your blood sugar. However, giving into to those cravings could make matters worse as blood sugar spikes will eventually leave you craving more. When the sweet tooth bites, eat fruit along with foods high in fiber to satisfy the cravings and stabilize your blood sugar. High blood sugar levels can cause damage to your blood vessels and can even lead to diabetes.
Don’t ditch your diet when the craving for chocolate hits. Chocolate is a rich source of magnesium, so your urge for this food is an indication of magnesium deficiency, which is a common occurrence. Chocolate contains beneficial antioxidants, but the traditional varieties pack a boatload of sugar. If you must satisfy your cravings, look for dark chocolate with more than 75 percent cacao. However, if you eat lots of fish, leafy greens, and nuts, you’ll minimize your chocolate cravings.
3. Potato chips and other salty foods
Do you crave popcorn and potato chips outside your movie viewing hours? It probably means you’re suffering from a severe case of stress, and it might be wreaking havoc on your adrenal glands. Start an exercise program, yoga, meditation or some other relaxation technique to manage stress and you’ll beat those unhealthy cravings. Eating salty foods leads to numerous health issues, including obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease.
4. Pork and other red meats
If you drool at the thought of a thick steak or pulled pork at unusual hours, you might have an iron deficiency. Pregnant or menstruating women are most at risk of iron deficiencies. Fortunately, you can give your body the iron it needs without sabotaging your weight loss. Beans, fish, leafy greens, and dried fruits are a few low-calorie iron-rich foods you can enjoy to beat your cravings for red meats.
Whether you’re yearning for cheese on a piping hot pizza or a well-stocked cheese platter, your cravings might be an indication of a fatty acid deficiency. Very few diets meet the daily omega-3 fatty acid requirements. Don’t exceed your daily calorie requirements by sampling all the cheese on the platter. Instead, satisfy your cravings with walnuts, or salmon, add some flaxseed to your favorite smoothie, or opt for low-fat cottage cheese. Just eat everything in moderation.
Craving your caffeine fix early in the morning is normal by today’s standards. However, if you need several cups throughout the day, your body might be in need of iron and salt. Lean meats such as turkey, chicken and eggs provide a healthy way to get these essential nutrients. Caffeine cravings might also be a sign of dehydration, so drink a glass or water to see if the cravings go away. If not, then start your day with hard boiled eggs for breakfast to fuel your whole day. Eggs are high in protein that helps you keep your belly full and lose weight.
Few people can resist the cravings for sweet soda. Unfortunately, this drink and other junk food contain enough sugar to remove all your previous attempts to eat healthy. Soda cravings are usually a sign of calcium deficiency, so ignore the cravings and reach for yogurt, kale, broccoli or low-fat milkshakes to get your daily calcium requirements. If you drink soda to quench your thirst, opt for lemon water instead. Lemon water has plenty of amazing health benefits.
Cravings for traditional comfort foods such as bread and pasta are sometimes due to high-insulin levels or low-blood sugar. However, these cravings are more often the result of unrealistic diets. If your eating plan restricts certain foods, you’ll have a hard time resisting these very same foods. Instead of eliminating foods, try to eat all foods in moderation, and you’ll reduce the temptation to overindulge.
9. Cravings in general
Intense cravings for certain foods may be a sign of nutrient deficiency. However, the intense desire to eat between meals is usually a sign of dehydration. Therefore, drinking a glass of water will give your body what it most needs and alleviate constant cravings. Although it sounds obvious, it really works.
10. Other calorie-rich foods
Some food cravings are emotional rather than physiological. Obesity, depression, and inability to conquer life’s challenges are just some of the dangers of using food to deal with your emotions rather than facing them head on. We often drown our stress in a carton of ice cream, a bag of potato chips or a bottle of wine or beer. However, running or jogging is a better way to combat stress and improve your mood.
Your food cravings can say a lot about your diet, you simply need to learn how to read those cues. Listen to your body and eat healthy to fend off any food cravings and keep your weight under control. Do you know what your cravings say about your daily diet?