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votes

Why could I be craving red meat?

Commented on February 11, 2014
Created February 07, 2014 at 10:03 AM

So lately I've noticed that my cravings for red meat have skyrocketed. My lifestyle hasn't changed at all, I'm still doing paleo (with a few rare exceptions every now and then such as a bit of white rice or potato) I also have no interest in consuming chicken so there's something about beef and lamb that I keep craving... what could be going on? I like seafood though. I may or may not be eating enough fat I'm not sure but I don't understand how it could be linked to my craving?

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 11, 2014
at 02:04 PM

The label, which by law must provide the correct amounts. If you suspect it does not, feel free to file a class-action lawsuit and take them to court for mislabeling a product upon which your health depended. You'll make millions if you're able to prove them wrong. Might even be able to get some criminal charges in there. All you need to do is send a sample bottle to a lab for analysis. You think they'd be stupid enough to lie on a label with how easy it is to file a lawsuit these days? Come on, they're not that stupid.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 11, 2014
at 01:33 PM

Except you can certainly lack nutrients and not crave something. Liver is a prime example. I do not crave it, but it's a handy dose of vitamin A and copper that I find useful.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 10, 2014
at 10:17 PM

And if you are able to corroborate such claims (that the brain can sense an iron deficiency and transmit this knowledge to our palettes) by controlled experimentation, as described above, I will gladly accept that the claims have some merit and I will further open my mind to the possibility that this could indeed be the case. Otherwise, it is only an unproven and unsubstantiated hypothesis.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 10, 2014
at 10:06 PM

Put forth a hypothesis, say: "People that are deficient in iron consistently crave foods that are high in iron (high being defined as 25% or more RDA per 100g)" and using a large sample size consisting of randomly chosen controls (non-iron-deficient individuals) and a test group (iron-deficient individuals), test whether people in the iron deficient group (without knowledge of the iron content of foods) really do consistently choose foods higher in iron.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 10, 2014
at 10:01 PM

Conclusive results based on empirical and quantifiable data obtained by following a procedure which consists of controlled observations, measurements, and testing of a hypothesis. I am referring to the results of experiments which follow the scientific method: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method. Honestly, it's not too much to ask for.

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 10, 2014
at 09:46 PM

Ah, I do agree with a few of your points this time, and it helps me understand your steadfast conviction and relentless badgering for proof. You do question your conclusions and are trying to incite someone to either validate or disprove them. Not a bad thing. But then we come again to your tendency to view the world with dichotomies. I'm not against science and I don't take hearsay and consensus at face value, I'm just saying, you're probably wrong and I'm probably right and I'm not inclined to prove it to you since I don't think it's readily proovable at the moment.

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 10, 2014
at 09:41 PM

This is just a stupid, exaggerated response. You're getting frustrated and running out of steam. I'm a man of science, I just believe that some people take it too far. We can't base every decision in our lives on the scientific method. That's not how it works and the attempt to do so will often lead you down the wrong path because not everything can be readily researched and proved.

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 10, 2014
at 09:38 PM

What, according to the label?

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 10, 2014
at 09:35 PM

Define proof...

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 10, 2014
at 08:31 PM

I get he was taking a shot at me. I don't mind it though, I'm not a sensitive guy. I don't expect people to believe me because of how I sound, but rather by the content of what I am expressing and the proof that I provide to support it.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 10, 2014
at 08:17 PM

I don't think I'm smart, quite the contrary. If I was I wouldn't be having arguments on the internet. I'm just looking for someone to prove me wrong with convincing scientific evidence, so far I'm not seeing that. I'm seeing a lot of anecdotal evidence. If we (humanity) were all satisfied with consensus and anecdotes instead of scientific proof, we'd still be living in the dark ages, the earth would be the center of the universe, the earth would be flat, evolution never happened, and we'd still believe that whole grains and a low fat diet are healthy. Science is about truth, not consensus

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 10, 2014
at 08:11 PM

I'd rather look for "hard-core" scientific proof than believe what some random stranger on the internet tells me. If following the scientific method (generating a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis, analyzing the data and confirming/refuting the hypothesis) is a flawed perspective, then I guess that computer you're using and all the technology you depend on to live is "deeply flawed" and will lead you into a "dark lonely, hole". Quick! Stop using your computer before it's too late!! Surely, science is the Devil's work.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 10, 2014
at 08:04 PM

Centrum does provide 100% of mostly everything, as do most breakfast cereals.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 10, 2014
at 08:02 PM

So exactly what flavors do vitamins have? You are claiming that vitamins are what give food their flavor right? What vitamin does "sweet" have (vitamin fructose perhaps)? What about when you crave something spicy, what vitamin does "spicy" have (vitamin capsaicin)? This is complete nonsense.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 10, 2014
at 07:56 PM

Of course, I've always craved food with flavor and plenty of salt. Even when I was hypertensive and clearly consumed too much salt.

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 10, 2014
at 07:44 PM

haha "the one time"? And here I was under the impression that the guy knew what he was talking about. Some people are just good at sounding all sciency and correct. It can be a problem when they start giving advice.

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 10, 2014
at 07:30 PM

turn out to be "unproven" at some later date, so you could be doing yourself lots of harm by jumping at the first sign of apparent "proof". Also, human kind has flourished on hearsay and rumor. Today we call it "consensus" and it's a powerful thing. To assume that you're right just because you think you're smart, unhindering, and unwilling to consider the possibility you overlooked something when countless others try to point you in a different direction will block you from many truths. Sometimes you will turn out to be right, but not always. I'd wager you're dead wrong in this case.

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 10, 2014
at 07:27 PM

Maybe it's your own broken metabolism and deranged pleasure centers skewing your views because I can tell you from experience, I frequently have strange cravings only to later look into it and realize I was deficient in something that food had plenty of. Does this "prove" anything? Of course not. It certainly supports my view though. Which brings me to another problem you have. Always looking for hard core scientific proof of any given argument will lead you down a dark, lonely hole with a flawed perspective of the world. For one, things that have been "proven" often

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 10, 2014
at 07:26 PM

This is pretty hilarious. What we have here are a couple hard-headed, stubborn little bulls. With repeated use of the "multivitamin" argument, you really show your cards. You MUST realize that a multivitamin doesn't even provide 100% of the RDA, let alone what we really need. Most of those nutrients pass right through you.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 09, 2014
at 09:33 PM

Don't post shit without reading it first, specially if you plan to use it as proof.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 09, 2014
at 09:31 PM

Yes, mice and people crave macronutrients, this is called hunger, glucose is a macronutrient. Unless you think it is a vitamin/mineral, in which case you are hopelessly mentally challenged.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 09, 2014
at 09:29 PM

Yeah? So why the fuck do people always have room for dessert after that ribeye? I guess they must be craving those magical imaginary micronutrients in cake.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 09, 2014
at 09:27 PM

So if we gave fat people multivitamins, their hunger would go away?? And they would not eat any more junk food ever again? Really? Holy shit where do you come up with this ignorant bullshit.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 09, 2014
at 09:24 PM

That is absolutely wrong, diabetics are perfectly capable of burning fat precisely because they are insulin resistant. Insulin prevents fat burning, being reistant to it means fat burning is increased. This is a negative feedback mechanism that the body uses to keep diabetics from getting fatter. Have you ever heard of diabetic ketoacidosis? When the body can't burn glucose, precisely because of insulin resistance, it burns fat instead. Read a physiology book kid, you need it.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 09, 2014
at 12:02 PM

you are confounding the question. this paper says nothing about cravings its claim is that our taste for salt is an evolutionary trait. which supports my original answer

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 08, 2014
at 09:44 PM

Yeah, ok, I see, so according to you, this isn't scientific evidence:

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, July 11, 2011 Relation of addiction genes to hypothalamic gene changes subserving genesis and gratification of a classic instinct, sodium appetite Wolfgang B. Liedtke, Michael J. McKinley, Lesley L. Walker, Hao Zhang, Andreas R. Pfenning, John Drago, Sarah J. Hochendoner, Donald L. Hilton, Andrew J. Lawrence, Derek A. Denton

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 08, 2014
at 08:30 PM

So your argument against the preponderance of scientific evidence complied over the last 20 years is Jimmy Moore and Stanton? Shit, cannot argue with that!

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 08, 2014
at 02:07 PM

“Salt appetite and hedonic liking of salt taste have evolved over >100 million years (e.g., being present in Metatheria). … An instinctive behavior pattern of which salt appetite is an exemplar reflects a genetically hard-wired neural organization naturally selected because of its high survival value.”

(Also see “The Salt-Mining Elephants of Kitum Cave”, from Part IV.)

And the fact that our taste for salt generally exceeds our needs can be explained by the fact that excess salt (within limits) is not harmful, whereas insufficient salt leads to death.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 08, 2014
at 02:06 PM

Here's a quote:

Our tastes are the product of millions of years of natural selection, during which animals that didn’t have our tastes died out and were replaced by those that did. They don’t exist to make us fat: they exist to keep us alive. As I’ve said in Part II, “Any animal whose faulty perceptions and motivations caused it to become obese, emaciated, malnourished, or poisoned by excess would have been strongly selected against.” ...all animals, including humans, require salt to live.Life never left the ocean: we carry it within us, in every cell.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 08, 2014
at 02:04 PM

I disagree with that theory. I look at veganism as a poorly attempted Lysenkoism. Vegan "leaders" would have you believe that eating meat is learned and you can unlearn it and "evolve" above it. If so, why so much fake meat, like fake burgers, fake turkeys, fake bacon? We crave salt the same way - even animals do. See the following series, especially the one about Kitun cave where elephants dug a cave in the side of a mountain, just to get at salt:

http://www.gnolls.org/tag/why-are-we-hungry/

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 08, 2014
at 01:59 PM

I would tend to agree with that: if I was replete with all micronutrients and my required macronutrients, I would not crave a rib eye. Showing me a picture of one might raise some interest, but it wouldn't raise hunger levels if I was satiated.

Say you ate a T-bone steak. If I showed you a rib eye, would you "have room" for the rib eye? Repeat with a chicken breast. If you ate a salad with a large chicken breast and some potato, and I showed you a rib eye, would you eat the rib eye?

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 08, 2014
at 01:54 PM

No one said you'd have to be a certain body size to crave sugar. I did say you might crave sugar because you might need some quick energy in the form of glycogen. If you're insulin resistant, you don't have access to fat stores, so you'd be constantly seeking glycogen as you're unable to burn fat.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 08, 2014
at 01:52 PM

That's not a contradiction - we associate the flavors of foods with the nutrients they provide. When we're low in a nutrient, we crave the food that should have that nutrient. D'uh.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 08, 2014
at 01:51 PM

Yes, but try it and see - you'll start to crave salt.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 08, 2014
at 03:56 AM

Haha! Yeah it's alright though, I enjoy it anyways lol :)

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 08, 2014
at 02:31 AM

@raydawg You missed my point. The assumption was if I could feed you soylent green, and you had perfect macro and mineral balance. You suggest that humans would then have no cravings. I am suggesting that when I show you a picture of a rare ribeye you would later crave said ribeye. hell I just had dinner, and I am now craving a ribeye.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 08, 2014
at 02:29 AM

Man, the one time you are right, and you still get down votes. TheGastronomer just can't win ;)

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 08, 2014
at 02:27 AM

Read The Wisdom of the Body. Salt "cravings" like many cravings are actually the result of psychobiological mechanisms. That is to say, our preference for sodium is a learned, modifiable behavioral trait.

In individuals who have had a low sodium diet, removing sodium creates no "craving" for sodium despite going to deficient levels. However, for diets high in sodium, removing sodium creates strong "cravings" even while levels are well above deficient. This strongly suggests that sodium (and I believe almost all cravings) are learned behaviors based upon hedonic predictions.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 08, 2014
at 02:17 AM

Sigh... As usual, TG, your comments expose the vast galactic stretches of gaps in your knowledge.

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/healthscience/2013/December/Are-You-Starving-Yourself-into-Obesity-/

http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/03/12/stuffed-and-starved-raj-patel

Yes, I'm saying obese folks eat without satiation because what they eat is devoid of micronutrients (not macros which they get plenty of), so they eat out more in an attempt to gain those micros - they seek out foods which might contain those micronutrients, but fail because what they eat is junk.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 08, 2014
at 02:07 AM

Digestion of protein takes a lot of energy, which isn't available (yet) from the food being digested, so people who just ate a large protein meal feel sluggish and sleepy - eating something sweet afterwards helps them get their energy levels back up because they expended a lot of digestion - hence, they'd make room for desert, or crave something sweet. It's also a sign of energy dis-regulation or adrenal fatigue. There ya go, you just learned something you didn't know. tl;dr: what you chew right now isn't energetically available until after digestion.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 08, 2014
at 02:02 AM

So... you're saying that when mice are hungry, it's because their glucose levels are low, so, they're um, craving glucose? lol!

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 08, 2014
at 02:00 AM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geophagy

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 08, 2014
at 01:59 AM

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potash

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 07, 2014
at 09:40 PM

Ever seen someone eat dessert after eating a steak? I have.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 07, 2014
at 09:38 PM

Are you serious? So you are saying obese people are constantly hungry because they don't get enough vitamins or minerals? Where's the proof? If this was true, then giving obese people a couple of multivitamin pills would take away their hunger. That makes no sense. Read what you are saying. Craving micronutrients is not the same as craving macronutrients. You're saying fat people confuse hunger for micronutrients with hunger for macronutrients? WTF kid.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 07, 2014
at 09:29 PM

People with all sorts of metabolisms, skinny, fat, built, scrawny, etc crave sugar because it tastes good not because they need "fast energy", fat/diabetic people definitely don't need it. If sugar tasted like shit, we would not crave it (unless it was some weird fetish). Palatability is the reason people crave things. You keep reinforcing this point without realizing it. You still have not provided evidence that minerals and vitamins can be sensed and craved by our brains (glucose obviously can, but not vitamins and minerals).

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 07, 2014
at 09:20 PM

You are contradicting yourself. You say we crave things because they have nutrients we need. Centrum has nutrients and yet we don't crave it, you agree with this by saying that Centrum is not palatable, therefore proving me right when I say that we crave things because they are palatable, not because they have certain nutrients. You just proved my point. Taste is why we crave things, not vitamins/minerals.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 07, 2014
at 09:15 PM

I agree with what you've said, except the part on micronutrients. Try this: avoid all salt and salty foods for a few days, and see if you don't start craving salty foods. Salt is a mineral, thus a micronutrient.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 07, 2014
at 09:14 PM

Hey, I never claimed to have read those, I told you to do your own damn due diligence, brah. Do you ever bother to actually read, and understand, what other people write to you before replying? Maybe you should take some time and understand what is being and the context it's being said in, rather than engaging your expectation of what might be there and thus reply to things that just aren't there.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 07, 2014
at 09:12 PM

Ever notice that people who crave sugar do so because their serotonin is low, and when it's low, it negatively affects their mood?

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201105/sunlight-sugar-and-serotonin

Strangely enough constantly eating carbs causes us to crave more (addiction).

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 07, 2014
at 09:06 PM

What's in ice cream? fat, sugar (sources of energy) - and if it's properly made egg yolks. What's in egg yolks? folate, b-vitamins - what do pregnant women need? Hmmm?

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 07, 2014
at 09:05 PM

Give that person some true nutrition, say liver, or egg yolks, or whatever whole food contains what's missing, and their appetite turns off. Ever have a craving for, say chocolate? If instead of eating it, you ate a chunk of liver, had you been craving the copper in the chocolate, you would no longer crave the chocolate.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 07, 2014
at 09:03 PM

They may physically have full stomachs after binging, but they would still be hungry for the missing nutrients that would normally be in whole food sources that said snack would provide, but is otherwise missing.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 07, 2014
at 09:02 PM

No such thing kiddo. It has 100% of the US RDA - some nutrients don't have an RDA. You're grasping at straws. Being hungry has everything to do with starving. Look at a morbidly obese person - why do they still get hungry when they have tons of fat stores? Because eating just fat or carbs does not provide micronutrients, and because chronically high insulin levels prevent access to their fat stores. When they snack on nutritionally devoid foods, which they crave, their do not provide the necessary micronutrients, so they still remain hungry and crave more. So no satiety.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 07, 2014
at 08:59 PM

I never said that when you crave sweets you're craving vitamins nor fruit - if anything I've said that you're either addicted, or in need of some nutrient. In the case of addiction, both sugar and wheat are addictive: wheat contains morphine like compounds called exorphins, sugar, as per Robb Wolf who had a crack addict as a client who said it was easier to get off crack than sugar. You might crave sweets because you need a fast energy source - remember, cortisol signals gluconeogenesis - by ingesting carbs you avoid this metabolically challenging step.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 07, 2014
at 08:52 PM

When's the last time you tasted a Centrum pill? How palatable was it?

F291857fa12a0291688ea994343156dc

(720)

on February 07, 2014
at 07:12 PM

it's fat + sugar in 50%:50% ratio. >>>> sounds like the basic recipe for most frostings! :)

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 07, 2014
at 06:48 PM

A multivitamin has 100% of EVERYTHING. That is a lot of nutrition when you take into account how many vitamins and minerals are involved. Try finding any other food that has 100% of everything in a one gram serving size. Let me know how that goes. By the way, craving macronutrients is called being hungry, it's there so you don't starve, nothing to do with vitamins and minerals.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 07, 2014
at 06:43 PM

Correct. If we craved vitamins and minerals, then why wouldn't we crave Centrum pills? The premise is totally flawed. A craving for a flavor/texture profile is one thing, linking it to nutrient status is ridiculous. I have yet to see science that proves the hypothesis: "if Person A is deficient in Vitamin x, they will crave Food y which is high in Vitamin x". This is simply pseudoscience.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 07, 2014
at 06:26 PM

That's because food without salt taste like nothing. Salt gives food flavor.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 07, 2014
at 06:17 PM

In the second study the following was found:

"Other foods for which specific cravings were frequently cited were ice cream, sweets, and candy (particularly chocolate), fruits, and fish. Foods for which aversions outnumbered cravings were meats, poultry, and sauces..."

So once again the study only talks about pregnant women and their cravings, which are specifically for sweet things. I guess in your world candy is more nutrient dense that meat and poultry. Nice job tearing down your own hypothesis.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 07, 2014
at 06:13 PM

All this study shows is that mice eat when they are hungry by the receptors in the brain that sense glucose levels. I never denied people eat when they are hungry. What does this have to do with eating specific foods and vitamin and mineral levels??? You better slow down, you're making an ass out of yourself.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 07, 2014
at 06:09 PM

And none of the reasons given had anything to do with nutritional status or deficiency (the study never asserts this was the reason in the first place), but simply for tastes, nausea, or no reason at all.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 07, 2014
at 06:07 PM

So unless you're trying to say that pregnant women's bodies need more soil, ice and ash and less meat, fish, and eggs your argument is complete bullshit. Funny how you proved yourself completely wrong and I didn't have to do anything. Keep up the broscience.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 07, 2014
at 06:06 PM

I don't count salt as a macro - it's a mineral. Try eliminating all salt for a day or two and see if you don't crave something salty.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 07, 2014
at 06:05 PM

Hahahaha!!! Are you so lazy that you didn't even bother to read the studies? Here's what the first one claimed: "Foods avoided most were rice (36.4%), meat (36.4%) and fish (30.8%). Eggs, beans, tea and stiff porridge were also avoided.Reasons given for avoiding foods were unpleasant smell/taste (10.3%), to reduce nausea (11.8%), no particular reason (58.3%) and dislike by foetus (belief) (3.9%). Pica was experienced by 63.7%% of the women and soil, ice and ash were the most commonly non-food substances eaten."

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 07, 2014
at 06:04 PM

we crave a) what we are addicted to, or b) what we need. see point a.

also, do yourself a favor and google wheat exorphins. See if Oreos don't contain wheat.

There is indeed a back door to unlimited eating which the crap-in-a-bag industry knows about: it's fat + sugar in 50%:50% ratio.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 07, 2014
at 06:01 PM

Except that you might still crave macronutrients, and multivitamins are notoriously filled with low quantities of vitamins, all they need to do is reach 100% of the RDA which is a fictional value based on an average human, and provides only the minimal dose needed to avoid things like beri beri, rickets, and neural tube defects in newborns - nowhere near what's needed to thrive.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 07, 2014
at 06:00 PM

Exactly right.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 07, 2014
at 05:54 PM

There's plenty of scientific literature out there. And it all points to the same thing. We cannot detect deficiencies in micro nutrients. Cravings come in three forms (1) Stimuli -- i.e. we see/hear something and we want it -- this is why advertising is so effective; (2) Reward Seeking -- i.e. we have become addicted to certain foods. Humans can humans produce opioids as a derivative of the digestion of excess sugars and fats. We are smart enough to remember this, and be pleasure seeking. (3) Food Addiction -- which is (clinicly) different than reward seeking.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 07, 2014
at 05:51 PM

Oh and while I'm feeling generous, have one more:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24177424

You ready to eat your hat yet?

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 07, 2014
at 05:49 PM

Brah, do your own damned due diligence:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19445102

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/31/8/1355.long

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=food+cravings

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=gluten+exorphins

To disprove your argument using bro science (or better yet, just plain ol' troll science, tee hee!), I have but one question: Are you saying that when someone is thirsty that they're a) not craving hydration and b) addicted to water?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 07, 2014
at 05:48 PM

I just don't buy it. If I took a good multi-vitamin every day, and fully encapsulated my micro needs. and I ensured that I ate to my caloric needs. Then you are suggesting that I would never have cravings?

If you see a steak, you crave a steak. Because it tastes good. We have big brains that can remember how good that steak tasted, and we will go and eat it.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 07, 2014
at 05:43 PM

If truly we only craved sweet foods when we were at a vitamin deficiency (i.e. something fruit would provide). There would be no obesity. No one eats a piece of cake because their body is asking for nutrients. Also -- especially in America -- there are very few people who are truly deficient. While they may not be at optimal levels, few are actually deficient. So then we should not have any cravings right?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 07, 2014
at 05:40 PM

Why do we crave Oreos? What does our body need from oreos? We crave them because they are engineered to peak our taste buds.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 07, 2014
at 05:39 PM

We are not so in-tuned to our bodies that it creates cravings due to micro-nutrient deficiencies. Maybe macros, but even then I doubt it. Red meat is delicious -- end of story.

This is the whole problem with processed foods. Scientist, in labs, are engineering food that tastes good. This food becomes near-addictive. We crave things like Doritos and Oreos because they taste good -- not because they have some micro-nutrient that we need.

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 07, 2014
at 03:53 PM

True, but it's not the end of the story unless your cravings are all messed.

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 07, 2014
at 03:40 PM

With all due respect to the great Gastronomer, I think cravings for sweets and wheats work a little differently. Those foods create chemical responses in your brain/body not unlike hard drugs, but less intense. It's an addiction type thing. The great thing about a whole-foods, paleo-style diet is that you can rely more on your appetite to guide you. Protein in particular loses its appeal when you've had too much. There is a lot of nutrition in red meat that people tend to be lacking. Iron is a good possibility. B12, zinc, and selenium, and niacin are also a good bet.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 07, 2014
at 02:17 PM

Agreed, we crave things that taste good. End of story.

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9 Answers

0
Medium avatar

on February 10, 2014
at 08:01 PM

Here is a point I think a lot of people here are missing: we don't crave foods because of the micronutrients they contain but rather, the micronutrients frequently associated with certain tastes and textures can cause us to crave those tastes and textures. It's still taste and texture we crave, but the underlying cause of a craving is the body signaling that it needs something. The key is to recognize your craving for what it is and seek out the correct foods to provide what you're missing while satisfying the craving, rather than to simply assume that all cravings are either complete BS based on what we "like" or assume they're the word of god speaking through our tongue about what we really need. Both are incorrect. It's not a dichotomy. Cravings are associated with underlying needs, but they're also capable of leading us to delicious tastes and textures engineered by food scientists to make our bodies think we'll be getting what we need.

0
56c28e3654d4dd8a8abdb2c1f525202e

(1822)

on February 08, 2014
at 02:58 PM

If you want to know why you are craving it, start eating offal, in particular liver, spleen and kidneys. They have more of everything red meat has, but to me they do not taste as good. If you end up craving liver, you will know it is the nutrients.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on February 11, 2014
at 01:33 PM

Except you can certainly lack nutrients and not crave something. Liver is a prime example. I do not crave it, but it's a handy dose of vitamin A and copper that I find useful.

0
52c9752a7944acc73f13db48fef20517

on February 08, 2014
at 04:26 AM

Cravings all depend on the person and your history. If youre older you have a longer history and therefore more concrete cravings. Cravings are really just habits. When you have a craving you can indulge it and see what happens. Or dont and see what happens. Youll likely keep thinking about whatever youre craving if you dont indulge it (see inception "dont think about elephants) really, if you dont like your craving, for any reason, change your habit surrounding that craving. If your past history tells you to want something that you really dont need, thats your fault. What i guess Im trying to say is it's red meat. Its real food. If it makes you feel good eat it, at a time you can most enjoy it.

0
Medium avatar

on February 07, 2014
at 07:22 PM

Your limbic system commands a yummy reward! Or more iron and B12 perhaps? Or both.

0
Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 07, 2014
at 03:55 PM

Alright since everyone is such an expert in broscience, I urge any who disagree to provide a single shred of scientific proof to backup the claim that cravings are caused by deficiencies. Just a scientific study or two will suffice. Or better yet, elucidate the physiological mechanisms through which vitamin and mineral deficiencies are sensed by the brain and back it up with some proof, then you can call me out on it. Until you do that, it's all speculation and broscience.

You can't have it both ways and say "when I crave bad stuff is because I am addicted to it" but "when I crave good stuff it's because my body needs it". It's one or the other, unless you can prove it (and I mean scientifically, not anecdotally which is what I am seeing here).

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 07, 2014
at 05:54 PM

There's plenty of scientific literature out there. And it all points to the same thing. We cannot detect deficiencies in micro nutrients. Cravings come in three forms (1) Stimuli -- i.e. we see/hear something and we want it -- this is why advertising is so effective; (2) Reward Seeking -- i.e. we have become addicted to certain foods. Humans can humans produce opioids as a derivative of the digestion of excess sugars and fats. We are smart enough to remember this, and be pleasure seeking. (3) Food Addiction -- which is (clinicly) different than reward seeking.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 07, 2014
at 05:49 PM

Brah, do your own damned due diligence:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19445102

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/31/8/1355.long

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=food+cravings

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=gluten+exorphins

To disprove your argument using bro science (or better yet, just plain ol' troll science, tee hee!), I have but one question: Are you saying that when someone is thirsty that they're a) not craving hydration and b) addicted to water?

0
Medium avatar

on February 07, 2014
at 03:50 PM

@TheGastronomer, Cravings for sweets and wheats work a little differently. Those foods create chemical responses in your brain/body not unlike hard drugs, but less intense. It's an addiction type thing.

@raydawg The great thing about a whole-foods, paleo-style diet is that you can rely more on your appetite to guide you, but still not completely, so I don't agree with the "just dig in" ideology either. Protein in particular loses its appeal when you've had too much, but not when you've had "enough" and unless you're a hard core bodybuilder (and even then), more than enough is probably too much. There is a lot of nutrition in red meat that people tend to be lacking. Iron is a good possibility. B12, zinc, selenium, and niacin are also a good bet. I suggest looking into those things in red meat that you don't tend to get much of in your normal diet, then find other sources of it. Too much of one kind of food is never a good idea. A big part of the paleo diet is embracing a diversity of foods. A couple bites of liver a week, or a good salad, could majorly curb your red meat cravings if what you need happens to be in those with higher concentrations.

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 10, 2014
at 07:26 PM

This is pretty hilarious. What we have here are a couple hard-headed, stubborn little bulls. With repeated use of the "multivitamin" argument, you really show your cards. You MUST realize that a multivitamin doesn't even provide 100% of the RDA, let alone what we really need. Most of those nutrients pass right through you.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 07, 2014
at 05:48 PM

I just don't buy it. If I took a good multi-vitamin every day, and fully encapsulated my micro needs. and I ensured that I ate to my caloric needs. Then you are suggesting that I would never have cravings?

If you see a steak, you crave a steak. Because it tastes good. We have big brains that can remember how good that steak tasted, and we will go and eat it.

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 10, 2014
at 07:27 PM

Maybe it's your own broken metabolism and deranged pleasure centers skewing your views because I can tell you from experience, I frequently have strange cravings only to later look into it and realize I was deficient in something that food had plenty of. Does this "prove" anything? Of course not. It certainly supports my view though. Which brings me to another problem you have. Always looking for hard core scientific proof of any given argument will lead you down a dark, lonely hole with a flawed perspective of the world. For one, things that have been "proven" often

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 10, 2014
at 07:30 PM

turn out to be "unproven" at some later date, so you could be doing yourself lots of harm by jumping at the first sign of apparent "proof". Also, human kind has flourished on hearsay and rumor. Today we call it "consensus" and it's a powerful thing. To assume that you're right just because you think you're smart, unhindering, and unwilling to consider the possibility you overlooked something when countless others try to point you in a different direction will block you from many truths. Sometimes you will turn out to be right, but not always. I'd wager you're dead wrong in this case.

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 07, 2014
at 03:19 PM

Your body requires something in the meat. Could be heme iron, the specific fat mixture, CLA, or just the protein.

The way it works is that it knows what you're missing and it knows that you had it before in the form of red meat. So by all means, dig in.

@TheGastronomer Um, no, you'd crave things that you either need, or sadly, are addicted to. Just because you're ignorant of something, it doesn't mean it doesn't exist, bro.

Humans (and most animals) have a very fine sense of taste. We crave the things that our body need from nature - for example, you might crave something salty when you're low on minerals.

You might find certain animals eat weird things, for example a cat might eat grass if it's sick.

When you override that sense with addictive non-satiating hyperpalatable junk food, you'll continue to crave whatever it is you needed, but since you're eating junk, you'll never satisfy the craving, nor the need because that food like item is devoid of what you actually need.

We sadly cannot distinguish between MUFA, n3/n6 PUFA, MCT, and SFA by craving, nor fructose from glucose.

Nor can we distinguish between purified salt, and salt that contains minerals by cravings alone. We might need potassium, but constantly crave salty things - the more salty snacks we eat, the less satisfied we'd become. We might be full, but still crave more simply because on a micronutrient level we are starved of certain critical nutrients.

We might crave sweets when we're low on energy because sweets provide a quick burst of energy, or when our glucose stores are low because we're hyperinsulimic due to type 2 diabetes, or insulin resistance. Obese folks are actually starving but can't access their stores.

We can even use fat or fat from fructose/glucose conversion to wrap up toxins. So if you ingest something that's harmful, you might find cravings for both fat and sugar so our body can get rid of the toxins instead of storing them.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 07, 2014
at 05:43 PM

If truly we only craved sweet foods when we were at a vitamin deficiency (i.e. something fruit would provide). There would be no obesity. No one eats a piece of cake because their body is asking for nutrients. Also -- especially in America -- there are very few people who are truly deficient. While they may not be at optimal levels, few are actually deficient. So then we should not have any cravings right?

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 07, 2014
at 05:40 PM

Why do we crave Oreos? What does our body need from oreos? We crave them because they are engineered to peak our taste buds.

0
Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 07, 2014
at 02:24 PM

Cravings don't happen because we are missing anything, they happen because things we crave happen to be delicious. If I crave soda, does that mean my body has a high-fructose corn syrup deficiency? If I crave doughnuts, is it because I have a sugar, trans-fat, and gluten deficiency? Cravings are craving, don't give them much thought there's not some underlying nutrient deficiency going on, it's just your brain telling you it wants something tasty; and in your case, beef is pretty damn tasty.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on February 07, 2014
at 09:12 PM

Ever notice that people who crave sugar do so because their serotonin is low, and when it's low, it negatively affects their mood?

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201105/sunlight-sugar-and-serotonin

Strangely enough constantly eating carbs causes us to crave more (addiction).

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 07, 2014
at 03:40 PM

With all due respect to the great Gastronomer, I think cravings for sweets and wheats work a little differently. Those foods create chemical responses in your brain/body not unlike hard drugs, but less intense. It's an addiction type thing. The great thing about a whole-foods, paleo-style diet is that you can rely more on your appetite to guide you. Protein in particular loses its appeal when you've had too much. There is a lot of nutrition in red meat that people tend to be lacking. Iron is a good possibility. B12, zinc, and selenium, and niacin are also a good bet.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 08, 2014
at 02:29 AM

Man, the one time you are right, and you still get down votes. TheGastronomer just can't win ;)

Medium avatar

(624)

on February 10, 2014
at 07:44 PM

haha "the one time"? And here I was under the impression that the guy knew what he was talking about. Some people are just good at sounding all sciency and correct. It can be a problem when they start giving advice.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on February 07, 2014
at 01:51 PM

It's delicous.

Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on February 07, 2014
at 02:17 PM

Agreed, we crave things that taste good. End of story.

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