Carb cravings: Why we get them and what you can do
First thing’s first, when we talk about carb cravings, that translates to sugar cravings. They can be irresistible at times, but the good news is that there are plenty of ways to curb the cravings.
So, what is happening when you crave carbs? Your body is telling you to eat sugar, but consuming sugary foods in excess may not be the best thing for your health. Let’s get into a couple of reasons your body might be asking for these foods.
1. One reason is that your blood sugar levels could have dropped. When your blood sugar levels are a little low, your body starts to crave foods that will increase it back to the normal level.
2. Ever heard of serotonin? It’s a chemical in the brain that controls well-being and happiness. When your serotonin levels are low, you might feel that sugar craving a little stronger and be more inclined to reach for that block of chocolate.
Ah, it all makes sense! So, what’s the best approach to curb the cravings?
1. If you feel the craving in between mealtimes, go for a balanced snack instead. This means a snack that combines a range of macronutrients and micronutrients such as carbs, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals. These foods produce a slower and more sustained release of energy, whereas a sugar loaded snack is a quick fix that may lead to an energy crash.
2. To help prevent those cravings you should ensure each meal throughout the day is balanced and has a source of protein. Meals that are loaded with carbs such as oats, pasta, noodles or sandwiches are great in moderation, but aren’t the best idea for every meal of the day. Including one or two protein sources such as meat, fish, cheese, eggs or tofu will go a long way in regulating your blood sugar levels and keeping you fuller for longer.
3. Check in with yourself. If your mood and serotonin levels are low, your cravings are likely to be quite strong. Go get some sunshine, chat to a friend or do something that could help increase your mood. This might also help you recognise if you are actually hungry or simply craving sugar.
4. Adding in nutritional supplements, herbal medicines or homeopathic remedies may be a potential option for you in conjunction with a balanced diet. Talk to a dietitian or natural health professional before starting on anything but adding these in could be a great way to take control of the cravings.
This article was provided by Switch On Health. Visit them at Brisbane MBS 2020 at Stand B15.