Thursday, September 27, 2012

Weird world of food cravings

Melinda Beck, WSJ, Sept 18, 2012, explores cravings.

Cravings activate the pleasure centers of the brain—like drugs. Women have them more than men, but men get them.

Eight-five percent of men like giving in, 57% of women are satisfied.

Scientists used to say your body was calling out for a certain nutrient—now this is not popular.

Few people, for example, crave leafy greens—and they contain some of the same nutrients as chocolate.

Also cravings are cultural…Japanese women crave sushi, few Egyptians want chocolate, that sort of thing.

In one study, dieters had more cravings—which is understandable if they did not allow any chocolate, at all, for instance.

Yes,you can crave a food you do not like—how weird is that?

Chocolate is craved by 40% of women, 15% of men.

Salty snacks by 100% of women, 75% of men.

Meat, bread, and ice-cream are in the single digits.

If you keep tossing in the cupcakes, your brain may slow on the serotonin and you may want more and more of the little brats.

What to do to control a craving…Mixed advice. Maybe give in in a controlled way, maybe in the middle of a meal. Also exercise a lot – it cuts cravings.

Or take a whiff of jasmine or peppermint.

If you can get a day past the craving, it will slack off.

Oh-and pregnancy cravings have not really been confirmed. I craved stuffed grape leaves like mad! Confirm that!

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