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       Volume I - March 27, 2009

No More Blood Sugar Blues
What Cravings Are Saying and How to Curb Them

by Alice Osborne & Patty Liston

Who hasn’t experienced the overwhelming desire to eat something specific, whether it be chocolate, potato chips, a burger, or some other food? We’ve all experienced cravings, but we should be careful about the way in which we satisfy them, especially if we are diabetic or have distinct blood sugar issues.

By understanding what your body is actually deficient in (assuming it is a physical, not an emotional food craving, you can get to the root cause of the cravings, and eventually kick them all together.

Before you satisfy your cravings, drink a tall glass of pure water. Quite often we misinterpret our body’s signal for thirst as a signal of hunger. By drinking a tall glass of water first, you may be giving your body exactly what it wants and alleviate cravings altogether. Some experts estimate that up to 80% of the population is chronically dehydrated, so start with water before you try to decipher your cravings. Then, wait at least half an hour before you satisfy them. Read on to learn more about what your cravings might mean. And, of course, always strive to eat something that gets to the heart of your cravings. For example, if you crave chocolate you may have a magnesium deficiency. Choose to eat foods higher in magnesium such as nuts, seeds, fish, and leafy greens.

Chocolate: Cravings for chocolate often indicate that your body is deficient in magnesium, which is a common deficiency. Eat foods high in magnesium, such as nuts, seeds, fish, and leafy greens.

Sweets: If you crave sweets you may be experiencing blood sugar fluctuations. Giving in to cookies, cakes, candies, or other refined sweets will only make the problem worse and cause a blood sugar roller coaster that leads to more cravings. Instead, choose a piece of fruit when you�re craving sweets. And, regularly choose more high-fiber foods like beans and legumes, and complex carbohydrates like whole grains keep your blood sugar stable.

Salty Foods: Cravings for salty foods like popcorn or chips often indicate stress hormone fluctuations in the body. Getting on top of the stress in your life is step one. Try meditation, breathing exercises, or other stress management techniques. Research at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City showed that people who take a break to breathe deeply or meditate before reaching for salty snacks reduced their stress hormones by 25 percent and cut the binging in half.

Red Meat: Not surprisingly, cravings for red meat usually indicate an iron deficiency. Often people crave burgers or steaks. Women of menstruation age are especially vulnerable to iron deficiencies. Eat more iron-rich beans and legumes, unsulphured prunes, figs, and other dried fruits.

Cheese: Cravings for cheese or pizza often indicate a fatty acid deficiency, which is common in most people. Eat foods such as raw walnuts, wild salmon, flax oil; add ground flaxseeds to your diet.

Reaching for junk foods at the onset of cravings will only satisfy them temporarily. Making dietary changes that address deficiencies or imbalances can help eliminate them altogether.

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