Dealing with food cravings can pose a real challenge. While indulging ourselves occasionally is tempting, maintaining fitness and good health requires mastering the art of controlling these cravings. Understanding the root causes behind them is paramount. Celebrity nutritionist Rashi Chowdhary recently delved into the phenomenon of incessant carbohydrate cravings. It's important to note that not all carbohydrates are detrimental. However, our cravings tend to lead us towards foods rich in simple, refined carbs - which offer limited health benefits. Continued consumption of such foods might even escalate the risk of certain diseases. Let's delve into the potential causes underlying these cravings:
Also Read: What Do Your Food Cravings Say About Your Health? Nutritionist Reveals
Here Are Three Plausible Explanations for Frequent Carb Cravings:
1. Insufficient Protein Intake
Rashi underscores that a dearth of protein in your diet could potentially trigger cravings for carbohydrates. In such cases, your body instinctively searches for an "immediately accessible energy source," a role often fulfilled by carbohydrates. She reminds us that adequate protein intake is vital for muscle upkeep, tissue repair, and the synthesis of enzymes and hormones. An inadequate protein supply might prompt your brain to signal a surge in carbohydrate consumption to swiftly fuel these essential functions. To quantify protein requirements, several factors come into play. Nonetheless, Rashi recommends a minimum of 1g to 1.2g per kilogram of body weight.
2. Nitrogen Deficiency
Rashi elucidates the pivotal role of nitrogen in amino acid and protein synthesis. She explains that when the body lacks sufficient nitrogen, it might prioritize breaking down protein reserves to attain the requisite nitrogen-a process known as proteolysis. Consequently, the body starts craving carbohydrates as an alternative energy source since proteins are now allocated to meet nitrogen demands. Rashi advises getting your Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) levels assessed during routine blood work. Additionally, she clarifies that low BUN levels could correlate with a low-protein diet.
3. Poor sleep quality
Sleep quality not only influences your energy levels but also plays a role in hormonal equilibrium. Therefore, sleep issues can manifest in various ways. Rashi highlights that inadequate sleep can lead to increased ghrelin production (known as the hunger hormone) and decreased leptin levels (known as the satiety hormone). Poor sleep quality can trigger a hormonal imbalance, fostering an augmented appetite and a preference for energy-dense foods, particularly simple carbs.
Insufficient sleep can also adversely affect glucose metabolism, resulting in erratic blood sugar levels throughout the day. This volatility further propels carb cravings as the body seeks to restore energy equilibrium.
Watch Rashi's complete reel below:
How to Tackle Carb Cravings:
To curb these cravings, consider making certain adjustments to your dietary and daily routines. Incorporating lean protein, healthy fats, and high-fibre foods can help restore bodily balance. These adjustments may also stabilize blood sugar levels, which are closely tied to appetite regulation. Reducing the consumption of refined sugar and processed foods can also prove beneficial.
Addressing sweet cravings is a common challenge as well. The longing for sweetness can stem from various factors. While succumbing to such cravings in the short term might appear harmless, consistent consumption of sugary treats could jeopardize your overall health. To gain insights into managing sugar cravings, refer to this link.
Disclaimer: The content, including advice, presented here is meant for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to replace qualified medical opinions. Always seek advice from a specialist or your physician for more comprehensive information. NDTV assumes no responsibility for the accuracy and implications of this information.
About Toshita SahniToshita is fuelled by wordplay, wanderlust, wonderment and Alliteration. When she is not blissfully contemplating her next meal, she enjoys reading novels and roaming around the city.