Ever wonder why you crave certain foods? Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, head of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago studied the food cravings of almost 20,000 people for the last 25 years – and the results are causing some serious reactions. Nutritionist Marcus Avila shares with us how he interpreted the study and what your diet may say about your personality and what may be going on in your body.
Are you a chocoholic who likes to have fun? Those who crave chocolate (dark chocolate in particular) tend to be social butterflies and the life of the party. Chocolate can also be a good pick-me-up after a hard day. Eating this delicious dessert releases certain neurotransmitters in the brain, which makes people feel be happy. “Chocolate can works wonders on your mood,” Avila said. “Lots of people reach for chocolate when they need a mood boost and it works!”
Are you the type that adds salt to everything you eat? Chances are you tend to go with the flow and are easy going. But reaching for salt time and time again can also be an indicator that you’re lacking certain nutrients in your body. “Craving salt can mean you’re deficient in certain minerals like potassium, calcium, and iron,” explains Avila. “Too much salt can be bad for your diet, but your body craves what it needs, and sometimes it needs salt.”
Always adding hot sauce to your favorite foods? If you’re the type that loves a little heat chances are you dislike order and hate wasting time. Your love for hot food may also mean your body has trouble cooling down. “Spicy food raises your body temperature and makes you sweat,” Avila says. “People that crave spicy food also may also have body temperature issues, which explains while they’re drawn to these foods.”
Is sugar always on your mind? If you are constantly feeding that sweet tooth, chances are you have a wild streak and you live your life with few regrets. In addition, craving sugar can mean your body needs an energy boost. “Sugar can give people a quick burst of energy, which is why they call it a ‘sugar high,” Avila explains. “On other hand, too much sugar can deplete the body of energy, so you don’t want to go over board.”
Sweet & Salty Combo
Do you crave chocolate covered pretzels, love salted caramel, or dip your french fries in ice cream? If you can’t get enough of that salty and sweet combo, chances are you prefer to be private and are the creative type. Craving sweet and salty foods may also mean your body’s cells are sluggish. “If your body is craving salt and sugar you could be needing sodium and glucose,” he said. “There is nothing wrong with giving into the craving moderately. Your body may need it!”