A river in a time of dryness, a harbour in the tempest.
The bag of salted peanuts, chips, chocolate. The thought comes into your mind that you really want some. You dismiss the thought only to have it come back about 5 or 10 minutes later. This time it’s much stronger. You can taste the food, you want it so bad. But you resist the craving and hold off. Ok , it’s no use, I’m grabbing the food as fast as I can. It’s not so much that I like the food and that’s why I need to have it, it’s I have to have it, I WANT it.
Cravings can be so powerful and can virtually leave us at their mercy. You can’t think of anything else but the food you are craving. Salt, sugar are the most common cravings.
Cravings don’t seem to happen all the time either. It can come on all of a sudden and nothing else matters other than satisfying that craving. Weeks may go by without a craving but all of a sudden it’s there, knocking at the door of your mind. Why? Why is it that cravings happen randomly like that and isn’t the same as craving water when you are thirsty.
Wanting food, or craving food is different than liking food. It can seem like a life or death decision, if I don’t satisfy this craving, I’m going do die. It can be that strong.
A leading theory is that based on the craving, your body could be lacking minerals, hormones, or have an underlying health issue. I want to look at the common cravings and what they might mean.
Salt. You are a craver of all things salty. Salty popcorn, salty nuts, pretzels. Yeah, love the salt. You crave salt so much you are thinking about going to a farm surplus store to pick up some salt licks. One study concluded that craving salt may be due to a diet low in calcium. The theory is calcium temporarily increases calcium levels in the blood tricking the body into thinking the low calcium issue has been resolved. But, in other studies, the results showed that craving salt may be due to low iron, calcium, and potassium.
Carbs. I’m excluding really sweet foods such as chocolate, ice cream, etc. Carbs such as snack crackers, chips, potatoes are a common craving. If you look at typical snack foods, they are primarily carbs. And if you look at what people mostly snack on, it’s mostly carbs. The theory is that carbs stimulate the release of serotonin. Serotonin is the feel good hormone. If you are feeling low, have some carbs. Carbs are basically anti depressants packaged up as food. I believe that is why most people snack on carbs. If protein had the same affect, most snack foods would be rich in protein.
Sugar. Sweet sugar. Yes, sugar is a carbohydrate but when I mean sugar, I mean really sweet food such as chocolate bars, donuts, pop. We are now getting into the area of drugs in that studies have shown that consuming sugar has the same affect on the brain as doing cocaine or heroine. Going even further, Dr. Lustig, a leading expert on the affects of sugar suggests it be regulated the same as cigarettes. But, sugar cravings can also be due to other issues going on such as thyroid issues, a yeast infection, high stress in so much that your adrenal glands are working overtime.
You have a wall in your house and it keeps cracking. You patch the crack and a day, or week later the crack is there again. You patch it again and once more it comes back. You could do this for the next year and the result will be the same. Why? Until you fix the faulty foundation your house has, the crack will always be there because the foundation is the issue, not the wall.
Address the underlying issue and your cravings may go away. But keep in mind too that cravings are not the end of the world as long as it’s a moderate craving.
If you feel your craving may be due to lacking minerals or a hormonal imbalance, get these things checked out by our doctor. I’m a proponent of getting blood work done and looking at all vitamin and mineral levels to ensure they are at adequate levels. I usually have this done every six months.
Address the underlying issue of the craving. You may still get the odd craving but don’t get worked up about it. Unless, you are the one with salt licks located throughout the house.
Yours in health,