Food cravings - Deepstash

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Food cravings: Causes, reducing and replacing cravings

Food cravings

They are an intense desire for a specific food. This desire can seem uncontrollable, and the person's hunger may not be satisfied until they get that particular food. We usually feel cravings for junk foods and processed foods high in sugar, salt, and fat.

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The recommended salt intake for adults is no more than 2,300 milligrams a day, ideally under 1,500 milligrams, according to the American Heart Association. Americans end up consuming nearly ...

Common reasons to crave salty foods
  • Your body is depleted of sodium when we sweat, which then makes us need to consume more;
  • You're dehydrated
  • You’re stressed;
  • You’re not getting enough sleep
  • Salt lights up the pleasure center in your brain and releases a hormone called dopamine, which makes you feel happy;
  • Humans have an innate drive to seek salt because it is necessary for survival and historically a rare mineral to find;
  • You may have an underlying health issue.

Excessive salt consumption has been linked to diabetes, kidney disorders, high blood pressure and heart disease, so you want to be mindful of how much you are eating. If you feel like you may ...

Excessive salt consumption has been linked to diabetes, kidney disorders, high blood pressure and heart disease, so you want to be mindful of how much you are eating. If you feel like you may be consuming too much salt, you may want to attempt to reduce how much sodium you ingest.

Describing a food craving
Describing a food craving

A food craving can be described as an intense and sometimes uncontrollable desire for a specific food. This desire can leave a person unsatisfied until they have tasted that particular food...

Why we crave food

Food cravings occur in the same regions in the brain as memory, pleasure, and reward.

  • Physical hunger develops over time, and you will desire a variety of different foods. Emotional hunger comes on suddenly and is usually for a specific food that makes you feel good while eating it.
  • Emotional eating can turn into a bad habit. Food provides satisfaction. When you experience satisfaction, your brain is flooded with dopamine, which motivates you to keep eating to feel good.
Eliminating the pleasure gained from food

Research revealed that the brain's underlying desire for sweet can be removed by manipulating the neurons in the amygdala. By manipulating the connections to the amygdala, we might lack the basic emotional reaction to taste.

It's like eating your favorite chocolate cake, but not getting enjoyment from doing so. This study could be groundbreaking in treating certain eating disorders.

“Everything in moderation” is risky advice

Because the word “moderation” is vague and that makes it a friendly, big-tent kind of concept: however much you eat, you can find a way of convincing yourself that you eat in moderation.

Moderation should be a tool...

...for sticking to healthy diets easier. 

Nutritionists mean by moderation small portions, especially when talking about food that we should not eat. This means that eating a little bit of bad food doesn't have to ruin your diet or make you feel guilty and give up.

Big companies and “moderation”

Junk food companies love the concept of “moderation”.

Some of them (e.g. the Sugar Association, Snack Food, and Grocery Manufacturers Associations, with members as Coca-Cola and Hershey), adopted the motto: “All foods fit in a balanced diet", to give the illusion that your diet is not unhealthy if it includes their foods.