What Your Food Cravings Mean

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baked ziti

Comfort food: Baked Ziti

Many conversations about women craving particular foods typically center around the cravings we experience during pregnancy. Most married women who have children have at least one story about sending their husband out for some variation of pickles and ice cream because that is what they were craving in the middle of the night.

There are also the myths that say that when a woman craves sugary foods during pregnancy, then she is expecting a girl and if she craves salty foods, that means that she is expecting a boy. But what about food cravings that have nothing to do with “a bun in the oven?” Well, below are some food cravings and what they mean:

 1. Sweets

When you’re jonesing for chocolate, stop and evaluate how your sleep has been lately. “When tired, many people crave carbohydrates for a quick energy boost since carbs are our main source of fuel,” says explains Elizabeth DeRobertis, R.D., who practices in Westchester, New York. And simple carbs, such as sugar and white bread, are digested quicker than complex ones such as whole grains and beans, so the energy kicks in sooner.

Unfortunately that sugar “high” lasts as long as a your guy’s attention span when you try to chat during a football game, and it leads to an inevitable crash—but few people can fit a nap into their day. As an alternative, go take a walk. In a University of Georgia study, people who worked out at a low-intensity for 20 minutes reported a 65 percent drop in feelings of fatigue.

2. Creamy

Dishes such as ice cream, mashed potatoes, and macaroni and cheese are called “comfort foods” for a reason: “Craving them possibly points to worrisome thoughts, and what you really need is to be soothed,” says Skover.

These are also high-carb, high-fat foods. “Carbs boost the ‘feel-good’ hormone serotonin, and when you eat something high in both carbs and fat, it can trigger the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of pleasure and reward,” DeRobertis explains.

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