Why Do We Crave Sweet and Salty Foods?

May 11, 2021
Why Do We Crave Sweet and Salty Foods?
There are 3 reasons why you crave sweet or salty foods. Partly Physiological Does chocolate start calling your name around 2p.m.? Partly Psychological...

There are 3 reasons why you crave sweet or salty foods.

  • Partly Physiological Does chocolate start calling your name around 2p.m.?
  • Partly Psychological
  • Partly the Environment Do you want a bag of chips an hour after dinner?

Your body functions like a car. You put gas in the tank and then you drive. If your body does not get the fuel it needs, the strong physical cravings come. What does your body need? A balanced intake throughout the day of: fiber, lean proteins, healthy carbohydrates, and heart healthy fats.

3 Factors that Contribute to Cravings

  1. You are starving yourself. This comes from a couple of different ways. Simply going without food and skipping meals sets yourself up for failure. Following a healthy supervised intermittent fasting protocol is helpful but you need to be prepared in advance. If you are not giving your body nutritious food that sustains your body systems, cravings will come! When you are not prepared, you are setting yourself up for failure because your body will crave the fastest fuel it can think of which usually turns out to be refined grains and simple sugars. This habit can lead to binging.
  1. You do not realize how addictive sugar and salt can be. Why do we crave sugar and salt? Well for one thing – they taste good. This is not a mistake. Food companies perform research to determine which food components will tempt consumers’ taste buds the most. Our brains are wired to enjoy things which make us happy. Sugar makes us feel good and leaves us to want to experience that over and over. Sweet and salty foods and beverages are incredibly addictive. That is why processed food is loaded with them. They trigger the release of dopamine, the brain chemical that motivates us to engage in rewarding behaviors. It is like any addiction; over time our tolerance builds up and we need more to reward ourselves. This creates a vicious and unhealthy cycle.
  1. You are not listening to your body. If you begin to crave something sweet or salty, before you indulge, check your fatigue level. Research shows that when you are tired you are more likely to turn to whatever you crave to give you more energy. If you are craving a salty snack, the next time it happens, pay attention to your stress level. Stress may impair your adrenal glands’ ability to regulate sodium, which may lead to cravings. Are you thirsty? Some research suggests that mistaking dehydration for hunger may trigger cravings as well. If you have diabetes, you probably get hungrier than other people. But excessive hunger can mean your blood sugar is too high or too low.

Understand that starving yourself is not a good solution. Understand that sugar and salt can be addictive. Understand that your body may be trying to tell you something can help you reduce cravings and embrace a more balanced diet.

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