Food Cravings and How to Beat Them

Food cravings. We have likely all had some type of craving at some point, and for some its a daily battle. One of the more common questions I have been asked as a dietitian is how to beat cravings or how to manage them. There is not a quick and easy answer because cravings themselves are pretty complex. Cravings result from certain brain chemicals, like dopamine (the feel good hormone), being released when you eat certain foods. As a result, your brain continually seeks this “feel good” reaction, thus craving that food that stimulated dopamine release in the first place.

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What is a nutrient dense food? Plus 8 nutrient dense snacks

Continuing with the “Back to School” theme this week, I thought I would share some of my favorite snacks. Whether you have kids and pack snacks for school and activities, you work full time, or you stay at home, chances are you reach for a snack at some point in your day. Snacking can be a part of a healthy diet, though its important to make sure you’re snacking on “healthy” foods.

So what is ┬áconsidered “healthy”? Healthy is a broad statement and can be interpreted many ways, though when I think of healthy foods, I think of nutrient dense foods.

What does nutrient dense mean? Foods that are nutrient dense offer a large proportion of nutrients, protein, healthy fats, fiber etc in relation to a relatively low amount of calories.

For example: an apple is a nutrient dense food- with only about 80 calories per serving, you get various vitamins, minerals and fiber. On the other hand, a cookie is not a nutrient dense food- for about 150 calories, there are very few vitamins and minerals, with a higher amount of saturated fat and added sugar.

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