Those sugar cravings can be extremely frustrating, especially when you are committed to a wellness lifestyle but sugar still feels like the elephant in the living room. Here are three reasons for those cravings:
- nutrient deficiency
- low protein intake
Cravings can be a sign of nutrient deficiency. Cravings for different flavors or textures can translate to a lack of various nutrients. If you crave sugary food, you may look into deficiencies in chromium, sulfur and the amino acid tryptophan.
Chromium is abundant in brewer’s yeast, as well as beef, liver, whole wheat, rye, fresh chilies, oysters, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, wheat germ, green bell peppers, eggs, chickens, apples, butter, bananas, and spinach. Sulfur is readily available in protein foods – meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and legumes are all good sources. Egg yolks are one of the best sources of sulfur. Tryptophan is an amino acid readily available in animal foods, eggs, dairy products, and some nuts and seeds, and is particularly rich in turkey meat.
Low Protein Intake
If you have a relatively low protein diet and tend to feel fatigue easily, try increasing your protein intake, or experiment with the type of protein in your diet.
Besides meat, fish and milk, you can try nuts and seeds, good quality cheese in moderate amount, as well as eggs, yogurt and beans. For vegetarians, and particularly vegan, pay more attention to food combining to get a complete protein profile from various plant sources.
Cravings can be caused by dehydration. Our body often misinterprets the sensation of thirst as hunger. Next time when you feel your cravings coming on, drink a glass of water, wait 15 minutes, and see if you are still hungry.
What can you do?
Make sure you are well hydrated – that usually helps curb cravings in many cases. Buy a reusable water bottle and carry it around with you so that you will remember to sip water often. If it’s wintertime, get a thermos and fill it up with non-caffeinated herbal tea – it will keep you hydrated, as well as warm and cozy.