Sweet or savoury – we all have cravings.
But rather than indulge in a salty bag of potato crisps or your favourite chocolate, experts say our cravings are the body’s way of telling us we are lacking nutrients.
Sydney nutritionist Amelia Phillips has explained what our desires for certain foods mean – and what cravings say about your health?
Sydney nutritionist Amelia Phillips explained what our intense cravings for certain foods mean
Craving something sweet could be a sign of blood sugar deficiency, poor habit – or your body requires a balanced palate, Ms Phillips explained (stock image)
Speaking to the Today show, she explained there were two types of cravings – psychological cravings and physiological cravings.
‘So you want to differentiate – is it something a craving that’s happening in your head or is it more of a craving that’s coming from down here [stomach],’ she said.
Ms Phillips said if you’re experiencing intense cravings – it would take just two weeks to break the habit to start fresh on your diet.
‘If you do find there is a particular craving like the chips at 3 o’clock or the chocolate after dinner, break that habit by getting busy,’ she said.
Ms Phillips said simply doing household chores or exercise could help shift your focus away from cravings.
‘You’d be amazed at how quickly you can change your habit around,’ she said.
‘But if you notice the cravings come unusually, like you never crave salty things and then all of a sudden you crave salty things – that could be a sign you have a deficiency.’
The nutritionist said eating popcorn was a good alternative to a salty packet of potato crisps
CRAVING SOMETHING SALTY
Craving salty foods could be a sign of mineral or electrolytes imbalance.
Ms Phillips explained the calcium and magnesium levels in the body are too low.
Ms Phillips said if you’re physiologically craving salty foods as – it could be a sign of a mineral/electrolytes imbalance or a calcium/magnesium deficiency.
‘If you’ve been used to having the salty chips everyday, it’s a habitual habit,’ she said.
‘The thing with salt is, the more you have, the more you need to satisfy the cravings. So you need to back off on the salt.’
She said popcorn was a good alternative – but if you preferred a healthier option, she advised eating cottage cheese and tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
Ms Phillips explained it was important to break the cravings cycle – by opting for alternatives such as fruits or Greek yoghurt
CRAVING SOMETHING SWEET
‘If it’s the physiological craving, then it could be a sign of blood sugar deficiency, poor habit or your body requires a balanced palate,’ Ms Phillips said.
‘It’s the same as salt, the more you have the more of it you need to satisfy your cravings so you need to break that cycle and change the time of day you’re having it.’
She said healthy alternatives include fruits, Greek yoghurt and pumpkin puree.
‘The body breaks [carbs] down the glucose so it’s similar to the sugar cravings. A little bit goes a long way with carbohydrates,’ she explained.
‘So try and reduce your portion sizes down, stick to wholemeal pasta, always add fibre and protein – and that stops that blood sugar spiking, which is what creates these cravings and imbalances in the first place.’