How much want counts as greed
Can nutrient deficiency be the reason?
By Louisa Jung | July 18, 2018, 4:40 p.m.
Probably all of us are familiar with the insatiable desire for certain foods. Whether chocolate, burger or fruit - one would like to eat whole mountains of it. Again and again one can read about a nutrient deficiency in this context. But can that really be? FITBOOK checked with a nutritionist.
Could it be that our body shows us what it is lacking by making us hungry for certain foods? This very plausible thesis can be read again and again in Internet forums and is supported, for example, by a US study in which people with a sodium deficit stated that they had a strong desire for salty foods. Since this deficiency occurs relatively rarely, no general statement can be made with regard to specific foods. But: Couldn't there really be something to it after all?
"Appetite is not an indication of a lack of nutrients"
No, says nutrition expert Dr. Michael Despeghel: "The appetite for certain foods is not a reliable indicator of a lack of important nutrients." A specific desire rarely has anything to do with a real deficiency. “Often it is a matter of learned behavior that is associated with certain social situations. For example, if as a child you enjoyed sitting in front of the television with your family and snacking, food could become a source of consolation for the troubled psyche. "
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Hormonal fluctuations, gender, lack of sleep
Just like such emotional processes, hormonal fluctuations are reliable candidates for unleashing our greed for chocolate and Co. For example, the hormones released during stress increase appetite. A lack of sleep also causes the release of appetite-stimulating hormones: the body tries to compensate for the energy deficit with the messenger substance ghrelin. And: Desires are even gender-specific! US scientists found out a long time ago that women are more likely to nibble on sweets, while men prefer savory dishes.
What somatic intelligence has to do with it
Despeghel also sees a cultural dimension in the desire described: “Many people are constantly surrounded by food in their everyday lives. Fast food chains lure with their offers everywhere and in the social networks we are presented not only with images of numerous delicacies, but also with perfectionist ideals of beauty. "
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Eating behavior is becoming more and more representative - this is a vital process. And here comes the so-called somatic intelligence into play: This enables a living being to perceive its needs and to behave accordingly. Physical signals such as appetite or disgust are used to assess what is beneficial for the organism. "Most of us have forgotten this ability due to the aforementioned constant overstimulation," says the expert.
What can I do about it?
In order to counteract this development, Despeghel recommends different methods: Over a period of 14 days, those affected should only eat two to three main meals at intervals of five to eight hours. Alternatively, intermittent fasting according to the 16/8 variant could also be helpful: "The methods can help to regain the natural feeling of satiety."
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Both experts also point to a healthy and nutritious diet: Whole grain products, vegetables, fish or meat and soy products provide important nutrients and protein. These ensure a longer-lasting feeling of satiety and provide lasting energy.
By the way: Hormones such as serotonin and norepinephrine, which we release in states of happiness and excitement, work in the other direction (reducing appetite). So just have fun again when the next overwhelming desire for chocolate is on the way!
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