We all have our weaknesses and often crave for things which are scientifically considered un healthy. It is assumed that cravings are physiologically influenced, but research denies it and has thus come to a conclusion that cravings are mostly, culturally and socially driven. Around 50% of people regularly experience food cravings which can derail their attempts to eat healthy. But, here we are to the rescue.
Substitutes are meant to be our all-time savior; down below are listed some major substitutes for some major cravings.
- When you crave SUGAR
Sugary cravings are common to large masses. It is a sign of the body lacking in dopamine levels and energy. Such cravings often are meant to satisfy the mental state of a person by giving in enough zeal to get through the day.
A substitute to the above can be fruits as they are extremely nutritious. They provide prebiotic fiber, antioxidants, and beneficial plant compounds which are all very low in calories. Another is a date, a pitted fruit consumed after drying. It has a natural sweetness and is rich in antioxidants, fiber, potassium, iron.
- When you crave MEAT
Cravings like these are a sign of protein deficiency according to health experts. Also, lack of iron, vitamin B in diet can lead to frequent cravings like these.
To better the situation, one should take a healthy diet rich in proteins and vitamins. Nuts, tofu, dark and leafy veggies, nut butter (small amounts) are perfect substitutes. Greek yogurt, high in protein and less in sugar is a better option to go for in place of regular yogurt. Also, cottage cheese can be eaten. Although it has 163 cal per cup, 70% protein, calcium, Vit B12, and riboflavin, it helps a lot in combating meat cravings. Protein diet helps in feeling full for longer and eating less; thereby losing weight.
- When you crave SALT
Salty cravings can be well treated with replacements like, popcorn, vegetable chips, roasted chickpeas, miso soup- a Japanese soup made by fermenting soybeans with salt, grains, and fungus, koji; is low in calories plus good fiber source.
Such cravings are said to show signs of lacking water retention, as it induces thirst. Animal studies and researchers found that, lack of potassium, calcium, and iron cause test subjects to devour table salt.
These cravings are actually a reminder to keep yourself hydrated and have a proper diet.
- When you crave CHOCOLATE
Craving chocolate? Well, swap your regular milk chocolate with dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is made of 70% cocoa which makes it higher in anti-oxidant content. Its intake (preferably in small amounts) has shown researchers that it reduces the risk of heart diseases and also eases stress.