Ask Addie: Why Do I Crave Sugar and Salt?

Reposted with permission from Mama Sezz

Addie Dulaney Majnaric is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Licensed Dietitian.  Each week Addie answers nutrition questions.

Q: Why do I crave sweets and salty snacks?

Cravings often come up when we are not getting the proper nutrients in our diet. Our body then sends us signals that “Hey, something is missing here!”, which we then interpret with our cravings.

A: We all have our own personal cravings and tendencies. Some of us like sweet and some of us are more prone to craving salty foods.

Our tendencies can be traced back to our childhood and the types of foods we ate, which lead to the personalization of our gut bacteria, our microbiome, and our taste buds.

Our cravings also can be connected with long term habits of using food to cope with emotions and stress. We crave these foods in unhealthy ways due to the addictive nature of processed products. High fat, salt, and sugar foods have been proven to set off pleasure receptors in our brains that keep us coming back for more.

Processed snacks are often much sweeter or saltier than anything found in nature, so when someone begins to eat more natural plant based meals, foods may taste bland to them and not satisfy those cravings.

But do not fear, our gut microbiome and our taste buds in our mouth have the ability to change when we consistently remove these processed foods from our diet and replace them with whole food options.

Our taste buds can actually improve within about 10-14 days with complete removal of these trigger foods. Cravings often come up when we are not getting the proper nutrients in our diet.  Our body then sends us signals that “Hey, something is missing here!”, which we then interpret with our cravings.

To kick this cycle to the curb, eat a high fiber, colorful diet, and meals that leave you feeling full and satisfied. When we restrict too much and fall into the cyclical dieting trap, cravings our bound to come up. Instead, I promote a nutrition mindset change that is long term and focuses on the positive effects that your food can have on your daily life.

Nutrition questions?

Send your questions to Ask Addie at info@mamasezz.com.

 

Subscribe