cravings

The craving merry-go-round can send you around the twist and put your diet into a spin – and be hard to get off.

Naturopath and nutritionist Michèle Wolff says certain foods can create a ‘craving chain reaction’ that leads to diet derailment and digestive problems.

“If your diet has too much of one type of food and ignores the balance of what your body needs (protein, fat, carbohydrate, vegetables, salad and fruit) it will catch up with you and cause cravings.

“Cravings often arise from a dietary imbalance. For example, a craving for sweets and white flour can be caused by eating a diet too high in protein and fat.

Here’s how to beat your food cravings for good:

Sweets
A craving for sweets and white flour can be caused by eating a diet too high in protein and fat.

It could be a sign of protein deficiency where more beans, lentils, fish, eggs or meat are required.

It could also mean a fungal infection as bad bugs in the intestines love to feed off sugar.

Low blood sugar can also cause sugar cravings. Fix it by eating savoury foods every 3-4 hours with adequate protein, fat and healthy carbohydrates.

If you crave sugar, then have more whole grains and less salt and dairy.

Salads/Fruits (Acid/alkaline foods)
Although alkalising foods like salads and fruit are generally positive, too much will cause you to want more acidic foods to balance your body. Without protein and grains (which are healthy acidic foods if eaten in balance), the craving for acid forming sweets will be high.

Coffee
If you crave coffee, have more vegetables and salads and less meat and sugar. You can use chicory or dandelion to replace the taste, or have green tea for less caffeine.

Milk
If you crave milk, have more leafy greens, brown rice and fish and avoid sugar and fruit. You can use nut milks instead. Just make sure you keep up other calcium foods like tahini, boned fish, almonds and leafy greens.

Alcohol
If you crave alcohol, have more healthy carbohydrates and bitter greens and eat less fat, salt and animal protein.

Salad and Fruit Cravings (acid/alkaline foods)
Although alkalising foods like salads and fruit are generally positive, too much will cause you to want more acidic foods to balance your body. Without protein and grains (which are healthy acidic foods if eaten in balance), the craving for acid forming sweets will be high.

Next time you crave a certain food, give it some serious thought and consider what changes you can make in the rest of your diet to help beat that craving and improve your overall health.

Michèle Wolff is a leading health practitioner and a qualified naturopath, nutritionist, herbalist and nurse, owner of Ultimate Detox Solutions www.detoxspecialist.com.au. Her new book ‘Digestive Solutions – 101 Proven Methods to Solve Your Tummy Problems Naturally’ is available from bookstores and good online booksellers. Visit www.digestivesolutions.com.au.

What foods are you addicted to?