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Why don't I crave fresh fruits or veggies? Why do I crave the "bad" stuff?

By March 4, 2009 - 2:44pm
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I like fruit and vegetables and I like healthy foods for the most part. But if I have a craving, it's for salty, fried foods, or chocolate. Why do I go for this kind of stuff and not crave, say, some raw carrots or some green peppers?

I don't know a lot of people who say "I'd kill for an apple!" even if they like apples but I do know so many whose mouths water while envisioning fries, or burgers or Godiva chocolates.

Why does this happen? Apples taste great! So why don't we all crave them instead of all the sweet or fried stuff?

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I used to crave a lot more sugary stuff when I was suffering from depression. I remember reading since then that if you're lacking in serotonin, you crave more carbs. I'm not sure of the validity of that, but it seemed to make sense, at least with me.

March 6, 2009 - 10:19pm

While I haven't totally given up sweet or salty treats, as I love dark chocolate and pretzel sticks, I really do crave fruit more than veggies. I absolutely have to have a pink grapefruit and a Fuji apple every day. But, I have to remind myself to eat the baby carrots dutifully packed in my lunch kit. Go figure, lol!

March 5, 2009 - 5:34pm

I had to do something that I thought I would never do: actually deprive myself of sweets and salty-foods 100%. I am "against" deprivation as a diet tool, but have found this is the only thing that works for me.

I've noticed different personalities among my friends: when faced with a table-full of chocolates, donuts, cake, etc (it was a potluck), some women actually just put a few pieces of sweets on their plate, and never went back for seconds. They feel satisfied. I can not "just have a few pieces" of sweets, and when I see a lot of food that is not going to be eaten (meaning: I'm not taking away from someone else), then I go back for seconds and thirds. My parents are the same way: my mom can have a few bites of a slice of cheesecake...my dad will eat the whole pie! I think I may be more like my dad, on this one...

So, I've given up on sweets, and it is actually much easier than I thought. I have four different types of my favorite fruit sitting on the counter (mango, apple, asian pear, nectarine) just waiting for my sweet tooth. It is helping me feel more in control of my eating, and I still am getting the sweet-taste, plus extra serving of vitamins and minerals. Maybe I'll even start craving fruits!? :)

March 5, 2009 - 3:34pm

Bargain Lover, I LOVE your question.

I have thought about this before myself, thinking, ok, if evolution is supposed to ensure the survival of the species, then why are we not evolving out of our desire for bad foods?!!

Clearly evolution takes a lot longer than we need it to in some cases, but it would be so good for us if a stressful day invokes a desire for munching on cauliflower instead of chips! Or if we'd start craving items made from whole wheat instead of white flour, or that apple instead of chocolate. Instead, we eat healthy foods when we feel the best, but our "comfort foods" still are higher in fat and sugar than anything else. (When I have the same affectionate reaction to broccoli as I do to macaroni and cheese, I will know I'm on my way!)

Alysia, that "7 Things to Know About Food Cravings" article was truly fascinating. Talk about food for thought.

March 5, 2009 - 10:20am

When you crave certain things, like salty or sweet foods, your body is telling you something. For example, you might be lacking essential vitamins or minerals, or have some other chemical imbalance that should be checked.

Fatty and sugary foods are "feel good" types of foods.

Salty foods could indicate a fluid imbalance in your system, as weird as that may sound, and might indicate a renal or thyroid problem.

I think most people have fairly simple, controllable cravings. But, if they get out of hand, it may warrant a trip to the doctor to see if there is some underlying health issue that requires attention.

Stress and Your Adrenal Glands
7 Things to Know about Food Cravings

March 4, 2009 - 7:42pm
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