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Food Cravings

This week at The Roseville Clinic we’re looking at food cravings. Let’s face it, we all have them and most of the time we tend to give in. Mostly we’ll go for sugar to satiate a craving. Chocolate is the first “go to” choice for most of us because it’s quick and readily available.

Sometimes we seek a sugar hit because we’re genuinely hungry and don’t make time to eat due to busy lifestyles. However most of the time our cravings are based purely on seeking a pleasure rush.

Intense research by Neuroscientists at Reading University show what happens to the brain when you eat sugar based foods, and through their findings it appears that parts of the brain are indeed susceptible to seeking out reward.

It would be easy to say “well that’s it then, it’s a chemical reaction beyond my control” but there are ways in which we can combat cravings.

By eating regularly and having the right levels of nutrients in our diet is one way of combatting cravings. Drinking plenty of water (as occasionally we’re thirsty and not hungry) is another way. Ensuring we get a good night’s sleep is crucial. That way our body then won’t react by seeking out something sweet as a way to increase blood sugar. Mindfulness is important also by being aware that with certain techniques, sugar cravings can pass in a short period of time.

…and according to our own in house medical surgeon Dr Smith…

Dr Smith says,

Dopamine is a neuro transmitter which is released in the brain after ingesting sugar, and it stimulates the pleasure centre, giving us a “natural high” and making us “feel good.” Excess stimulation of our pleasure and reward system, can be a contributory factor in food  addiction.”