1

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Cyclical palatability?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 23, 2011 at 12:18 AM

Last week, I was craving chocolate like it was nobody's business. I think I went through a couple hundred grams in a week, and it tasted downright ambrosial. Near the end of the week, I was noshing on unsweetened baker's cocoa just to get my fix.

I had a bit of it leftover this week, and have attempted to consume it twice, and both times I put it back. It tasted sour, cloying, almost too sickly-sweet and rich.

I've noticed this before with other foods, as well. For a couple weeks last month, I was on a complete steak kick. I wanted red meat with every meal. I partook generously, and haven't really craved it since. (I'm currently hankering for dark-meat poultry and fish -- specifically salmon and sardines -- right now, and have had it several times this week.)

I don't think I burned myself out on these foods, since I still think chocolate is perfectly delightful (in concept, that is; but I've never really been a chocolate fiend, which makes my craving all the more curious). It just doesn't taste very good at the moment. I doubt that the chocolate spree was menstrual, either, since I was nowhere near PMS last week. (As a matter of fact, my cycle had ended the weekend before.) I also eat plenty of fat, and a fair share of vegetables with my meals. I had lamb the other day and enjoyed it thoroughly, and I could go for another, but if you put a dead cow in front of me, I'd consume it and possibly enjoy it, but I don't think the fireworks would be there.

Oh, and I cannot get enough eggs! I roll out of bed fantasizing about the omelette I'm going to make for myself, and I never used to like eggs!

Has anyone ever noticed that foods taste better/worse at certain times? Or, ever get struck by a craving and that food tasted absolutely divine, then suddenly it doesn't taste good anymore and the craving ceases? Is this the body's way of notifying us that we're missing something from our diets, or something else altogether?

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on November 30, 2011
at 05:18 AM

That's interesting, because this past menstrual cycle, I was definitely craving the fat and the protein. I'm also working on getting my vitamin levels up. I hope now that I'm treating my body better, it'll get better at communicating its needs to me. :)

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on February 23, 2011
at 05:03 AM

I agree with you; when I was veggie, I was always commended for how "healthy" I ate, but in reality, I was terribly ill. I think maybe the strength of these cravings is me finally tuning in to the demands my body is making so it can repair from years of abuse? I'll take a closer look at my diet, and I won't be surprised if something is missing. I've been in a bit of a food rut lately, and variety sometimes goes to the wayside when I get like this. :)

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on February 23, 2011
at 01:20 AM

I don't really think it's hormonal either, at least not in the typical "female hormone" sense. I think our body releases SOMETHING to notify us, at least, to make us want to eat certain foods. I definitely agree that Paleo is making me wiser to my body's demands. I like your suggestion to wait 24 hours; maybe I could've avoided all that choccy if I had. x)

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on February 23, 2011
at 01:17 AM

Oooh, I hate those moments! I pace a trail from the cabinet back to the fridge and back and forth, hoping something with miraculously manifest between trips that'll satisfy my cravings. So frustrating! :P

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on February 23, 2011
at 01:08 AM

Is it really that common to be lacking it in the diet? I had no idea! I've been perusing the stores for magnesium supplements since I've had a feeling that I need it (coming off a long stint of very unhealthy vegetarianism) but none of my stores stock quality magnesium supplements. That would explain the red-meat cravings, too, since I know I was anemic as a veggie. :) (I currently take a B-complex multivitamin, too, and I'm aware that meat is high in B-12, which is hard as heck to find in vegetarian food; your hypothesis has merit!)

F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on February 23, 2011
at 12:56 AM

Men have hormones and I've heard some bit someplace about them having a hormonal cycle lasting about a month, but I'm not sure how much of that is science and how much of it is one-upmanship, as if our cycle is anything to one-up. Haha. Anyway, female hormones still do more complex stuff, since we have to prepare every month to grow a baby and all that.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on February 23, 2011
at 12:35 AM

Don't men have hormones, too? =P I can't fathom that women have exclusive rights to receive signals and communication from one's body as to its dietary needs. But for the record, I am female. :)

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6 Answers

2
8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

on November 30, 2011
at 03:51 AM

I seem to do better on lower carb Paleo (50-100 grams/day) during my time of the month.

Red meat and greens go a long way for me. I used to have carb cravings, mood swings, muscle aches, and mild cramping pre-Paleo but no longer!

The rest of the time I do moderate carb Paleo about 100-150 grams a day mainly from safer starches like sweet potatoes, potatoes, plantains, and sometimes even white rice.

I've heard deficiencies like magnesium, manganese, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Vitamin B (especially B6). and zinc aggravate PMS so Paleo works well. Supplementation may also help.

Minimizing sweeteners and caffeine also helps.

Exercise always helps me - pumping weights at the gym!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Premenstrual_syndrome

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on November 30, 2011
at 05:18 AM

That's interesting, because this past menstrual cycle, I was definitely craving the fat and the protein. I'm also working on getting my vitamin levels up. I hope now that I'm treating my body better, it'll get better at communicating its needs to me. :)

2
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 23, 2011
at 04:14 AM

I also go through food phases but they typically aren't that strong. And yes, I do think nutrient deficiences are extremely common. Most SAD eaters are consuming mostly food with minimal nutritional content. Even most 'healthy' eaters don't check to make sure once in a while that they aren't missing any specific nutrients in their diet. You can eat all healthy foods all the time, but that doesn't guarantee you will always pick out a selection of foods such that all nutrients are fully covered.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on February 23, 2011
at 05:03 AM

I agree with you; when I was veggie, I was always commended for how "healthy" I ate, but in reality, I was terribly ill. I think maybe the strength of these cravings is me finally tuning in to the demands my body is making so it can repair from years of abuse? I'll take a closer look at my diet, and I won't be surprised if something is missing. I've been in a bit of a food rut lately, and variety sometimes goes to the wayside when I get like this. :)

2
F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on February 23, 2011
at 12:59 AM

I've heard of a condition called pica, which is a strong craving for nonorganic substances such as chalk and dirt. Sometimes it arises from a craving for a poisonous but addictive substance, like back when we had lead paint in everything and little kids would become addicted to lead-paint chips. But it's also been strongly associated with mineral deficiency.

Both the foods you mention are high in certain minerals. I believe with chocolate it's magnesium, which is actually a really common deficiency, especially here in the U.S. With steak it could be the iron. Or you could have been short some B vitamins--not minerals, obviously, but still something your body needs. I know someone who gets to craving B vitamins when he's under stress. Could be that was going on with you.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on February 23, 2011
at 01:08 AM

Is it really that common to be lacking it in the diet? I had no idea! I've been perusing the stores for magnesium supplements since I've had a feeling that I need it (coming off a long stint of very unhealthy vegetarianism) but none of my stores stock quality magnesium supplements. That would explain the red-meat cravings, too, since I know I was anemic as a veggie. :) (I currently take a B-complex multivitamin, too, and I'm aware that meat is high in B-12, which is hard as heck to find in vegetarian food; your hypothesis has merit!)

1
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM

I go through phases with certain foods, but I don't crave them quite as much as you do.

I definitely don't think foods taste better/worse at certain times. If I like it, I like it. I am most definitely a "cravings" type person though. Sometimes things sound good to me and sometimes they just don't. There are times when I know I want something and I just can't quite figure out what it is.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on February 23, 2011
at 01:17 AM

Oooh, I hate those moments! I pace a trail from the cabinet back to the fridge and back and forth, hoping something with miraculously manifest between trips that'll satisfy my cravings. So frustrating! :P

1
Ab0369a70755bd07f44292b4ca8b2260

on February 23, 2011
at 01:14 AM

I also have cyclical food cravings. Sometimes I just want red meat, other times it doesn't appeal to me...same for chocolate, which I never was a fan of, pre-paleo. I try to eat what I really want but in cases like chocolate, I skip it and if I still am craving it after 24 hours, then I'll eat some. I don't think it's hormonal, I suspect the theory that we crave what we need is more correct. Paleo may put our bodies more in tune with that, I think women are generally more in tune with their bodies than men with this sort of stuff.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on February 23, 2011
at 01:20 AM

I don't really think it's hormonal either, at least not in the typical "female hormone" sense. I think our body releases SOMETHING to notify us, at least, to make us want to eat certain foods. I definitely agree that Paleo is making me wiser to my body's demands. I like your suggestion to wait 24 hours; maybe I could've avoided all that choccy if I had. x)

1
5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on February 23, 2011
at 12:27 AM

Male or female? I think the common expectation is that it is the females that go through those cycles more (linked with hormones and time of the month). How true that is, I don't know. However, as a male, I can't say I've really noticed what you're talking about with me cravingwise.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on February 23, 2011
at 12:35 AM

Don't men have hormones, too? =P I can't fathom that women have exclusive rights to receive signals and communication from one's body as to its dietary needs. But for the record, I am female. :)

F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on February 23, 2011
at 12:56 AM

Men have hormones and I've heard some bit someplace about them having a hormonal cycle lasting about a month, but I'm not sure how much of that is science and how much of it is one-upmanship, as if our cycle is anything to one-up. Haha. Anyway, female hormones still do more complex stuff, since we have to prepare every month to grow a baby and all that.

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