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Do Cravings Signal Specific Nutrient Deficits?

Monday, February 04, 2013


Here's a link to a yahoo piece about five specific food cravings and what they may indicate about specific nutrient deficits. And then the article tells you where to find the appropriate "swaps" to satisfy the cravings . . . for fewer calories and with better benefits.

Crave chocolate? (Duh: don't we all?? all the time?) Eat magnesium.

Crave pasta and bread? You're short on serotonin.

Crave sugar? Step up the chromium.

Crave burgers? Probably low on iron.

Crave salty foods? Maybe you're stressed. And short of potassium.

So is this the magic bullet? Probably not. But interesting. And I'll be thinking about some of these alternatives next time I experience one of these cravings.

Except: chocolate. There is NO SUBSTITUTE for chocolate!! And that's OK. Because dark 85% cocoa chocolate is probably lower calorie than the suggested substitutes anyhow . . .
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Eh, I think cravings have SO MANY possible links to things well beyond our nutrients...such as emotions, people, places & things that I'm willing to bet that nutrient-deficiency factors well down the list...at least for me.

    1933 days ago
    Interesting idea. Thanks for posting yet another thought-provoking article. Might have some merit.
    1934 days ago
    Chocolate rules!
    1934 days ago
  • NANCY-
    Salt... Who me? I'm stressed?

    Interesting subject. Think I need to meditate now. :)
    1934 days ago
    emoticon Definitely no substitute - it is after all a food group!
    1935 days ago
    I agree about the chocolate. Sometimes for me any kind of craving means I'm tired and need a nap.
    1935 days ago
    Interesting article. I liked the healthy swap to "you need to relax"! Popcorn, baked potato and edamame beans. If only they were enough to beat stress!
    Thanks for sharing.
    1935 days ago
    Interesting, I'm not a "craver" except the occasional chocolate. Wouldn't it be great to find the magic bullet though. Perhaps a bit more complicated than substituting cravings.
    1935 days ago
  • JIBBIE49
    I'm reading "THE DIABETES DIET" by Richard Bernstein MD and listening to his lectures on Youtube and I have Insulin resistance and not Type 2 Diabetes but I'm learning a lot about cravings and why I have them at night. I recommend his book and lectures.
    1935 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    Interesting. Going to print article and put in a sheet protector in the kitchen to have as a reference when listening closer to my body. Thank you.
    1935 days ago
    LOL at "there is NO SUBSTITUTE for chocolate" - I've always said that chocolate is a basic food group and you should eat some every day! (And yes, you may quote me on that.)
    1935 days ago
    When I read a book about eating to improve your mood - depression was linked in some cases to lacking nutrients - and I specifically remember serotonin and chromium being listed. . . .
    When I was depressed, my diet was too high in sugar, pasta & bread etc - since that was what I always craved. It seems my body was trying to tell me something, but I wasn't listening.
    1935 days ago
    I *do* go after carbs when I am in need of more sleep... seratonin!

    And I *do* crave beef when my iron counts are low.
    1935 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/4/2013 8:31:29 PM
  • DALID414
    I usually crave the bread and pasta, I'm not into the substitutes though.
    1935 days ago
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