We’ve all been there, we’re doing great, eating clean; and then the craving monster strikes!  

The monster tells you you want a chocolate bar, some sugary candy, a bowl of macaroni and cheese, chicken wings, or maybe a bag of chips.  

I’m here to tell you that your craving monster isn’t such a monster, after all, it’s a cuddly pet in your belly that just wants to be fed. 

If you want to stay on a clean eating journey, here’s how you can turn that monster into a docile pet working toward your health.

Here is our guide for replacing your ‘junk’ food cravings, with healthy options that won’t leave you feeling bad afterward.

Are you a chocoholic?  We’ve got you covered. 

Do you have a sweet tooth?  There are several vitamin and mineral deficiencies that could be the cause.

Craving chocolate, sugary foods, bread & pasta, oily foods, and of course the most common craving, salty snacks are all signaling that you might be short on an element necessary for your body to function properly.

This guide is designed to teach you how to combat the urge to eat something bad, and replace it with something that will help you feel better.

Craving Chocolate?

Find yourself constantly craving unhealthy chocolate snacks?  What you may really need is Magnesium.

Magnesium is an essential mineral and is required for over 300 enzyme reactions in the body.

Despite its prevalence, magnesium deficiency still fails to be top of mind for many. A study by the laboratory Mineral Check found that 70 percent of 8,000 people tested had lower than expected magnesium levels.

Magnesium deficiency impacts the body’s ability to function properly, causing symptoms including migraine, irritability, anxiety, extreme fatigue, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, and lack of concentration.

So, if you find yourself suffering from these symptoms and often crave chocolate, it may not just be a sweet tooth you have, you may actually be suffering from magnesium deficiency!

(Read this Post About Magnesium: filled with Recipes and Information on this Fatigue Fighting Mega Mineral)

Magnesium Rich Foods

Here are 10 healthy magnesium filled foods to try instead of processed unhealthy chocolate next time this craving strikes.

  1. Avocados

The avocado is an incredibly nutritious fruit and a tasty source of magnesium. One medium avocado provides 58 mg of magnesium, which is 15% of the RDI.

Avocados are also high in potassium, B vitamins and vitamin K. And unlike most fruits, they’re high in fat — especially heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.

In addition, avocados are an excellent source of fiber. In fact, 13 of the 17 grams of carbs in an avocado come from fiber, making it very low in digestible carbs.

Studies have shown that eating avocados can reduce inflammation, improve cholesterol levels and increase feelings of fullness after meals.

Not to mention avocados can be just as creamy as some of your favorite chocolate treats.

  1. Nuts

Nuts are nutritious and tasty.

Types of nuts that are particularly high in magnesium include almonds, cashews and Brazil nuts.

For instance, a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of cashews contains 82 mg of magnesium, or 20% of the RDI.

Most nuts are also a good source of fiber and monounsaturated fat and have been shown to improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels in people with diabetes.

Brazil nuts are also extremely high in selenium. In fact, just two Brazil nuts provide more than 100% of the RDI for this mineral.

Additionally, nuts are anti-inflammatory, beneficial for heart health, and can reduce appetite when eaten as snacks.

  1. Legumes

Legumes are a family of nutrient-dense plants that include lentils, beans, chickpeas, peas, and soybeans.

They’re very rich in many different nutrients, including magnesium.

For instance, a 1-cup serving of cooked black beans contains an impressive 120 mg of magnesium, which is 30% of the RDI.

Legumes are also high in potassium and iron and a major source of protein for vegetarians.

Because legumes are rich in fiber and have a low glycemic index (GI), they may lower cholesterol, improve blood sugar control and decrease heart disease risk.

A fermented soybean product known as natto is considered an excellent source of vitamin K2, which is important for bone health.

  1. Tofu

Tofu is a staple food in vegetarian diets due to its high protein content. Made by pressing soybean milk into soft white curds, it’s also known as bean curd.

A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving has 53 mg of magnesium, which is 13% of the RDI (22).

One serving also provides 10 grams of protein and 10% or more of the RDI for calcium, iron, manganese and selenium.

Additionally, some studies suggest that eating tofu may protect the cells lining your arteries and reduce your risk of stomach cancer 

  1. Seeds

Seeds are incredibly healthy.

Many — including flax, pumpkin, and chia seeds — contain high amounts of magnesium.

Pumpkin seeds are a particularly good source, with 150 mg in a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving (25).

This amounts to a whopping 37% of the RDI.

In addition, seeds are rich in iron, monounsaturated fat, and omega-3 fatty acids.

What’s more, they’re extremely high in fiber. In fact, nearly all of the carbs in seeds come from fiber.

They also contain antioxidants, which protect your cells from harmful free radicals produced during metabolism.

  1. Whole Grains

Grains include wheat, oats, and barley, as well as pseudocereals like buckwheat and quinoa.

Whole grains are excellent sources of many nutrients, including magnesium.

A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of dry buckwheat contains 65 mg of magnesium, which is 16% of the RDI.

Many whole grains are also high in B vitamins, selenium, manganese, and fiber.

In controlled studies, whole grains have been shown to reduce inflammation and decrease heart disease risk

Pseudocereals like buckwheat and quinoa are higher in protein and antioxidants than traditional grains like corn and wheat.

  1. Some Fatty Fish

Fish, especially fatty fish, is incredibly nutritious.

Many types of fish are high in magnesium, including salmon, mackerel, and halibut.

Half a fillet (178 grams) of salmon packs 53 mg of magnesium, which is 13% of the RDI.

It also provides an impressive 39 grams of high-quality protein.

In addition, fish is rich in potassium, selenium, B vitamins, and various other nutrients.

A high intake of fatty fish has been linked to a decreased risk of several chronic diseases, particularly heart disease.

  1. Bananas

Bananas are among the most popular fruits in the world.

They’re best known for their high potassium content, which can lower blood pressure and is linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.

But they’re also rich in magnesium — one large banana packs 37 mg, or 9% of the RDI.

In addition, bananas provide vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese and fiber.

Ripe bananas are higher in sugar and carbs than most other fruits, so they may not be suitable for people with diabetes.

However, a large portion of the carbs in unripe bananas is resistant starch, which doesn’t get digested and absorbed.

Resistant starch may lower blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, and improve gut health.

 

  1. Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are extremely healthy, and many are loaded with magnesium.

Greens with significant amounts of magnesium include kale, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, and mustard greens.

For instance, a 1-cup serving of cooked spinach has 157 mg of magnesium, or 39% of the RDI.

In addition, they’re an excellent source of several nutrients, including iron, manganese and vitamins A, C and K.

Leafy greens also contain many beneficial plant compounds, which help protect your cells from damage and may reduce cancer risk.

 

  1. Dark Chocolate

If you must have chocolate, dark chocolate is the healthiest way to go.

It’s very rich in magnesium, with 64 mg in a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving — that’s 16% of the RDI.

Dark chocolate is also high in iron, copper, and manganese and contains prebiotic fiber that feeds your healthy gut bacteria.

Dark chocolate is also loaded with beneficial antioxidants. These are nutrients that neutralize free radicals, which are harmful molecules that can damage your cells and lead to disease.

Dark chocolate is especially beneficial for heart health, as it contains flavanols, which are powerful antioxidant compounds that prevent “bad” LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and sticking to the cells lining your arteries.

To make the most of dark chocolate’s benefits, choose a product containing at least 70% cocoa solids. A higher percentage is even better.

Sign up to learn more about Project LeanNation…Read on for more great information.

Craving Sugary Foods?

Do you consider yourself someone who has a “sweet tooth”?

You are definitely not alone. Studies show that almost 100 percent of women and 70 percent of men experience sugary food cravings in any given year. The good news is that unnecessary food cravings can be fixed!

Sugar is the Most Dangerous Craving

Sugar consumption in the US is at an all-time high. In fact, the consumption of added sugars in the US has increased by more than 30 percent over the past three decades.

Even more startling, is the fact that the average American eats a whopping 3 pounds of sugar every week! 

It’s not hard to imagine this, since almost everything we eat has sugar added to it.

Added sugar accounts for almost 500 calories of our diet every day, and that is 10 times more than any other additive in our foods.

And what is even more astounding is that the more sugar you eat, the more you can actually become addicted to it—much like any other addiction.

While we often think of addiction as something that only happens to people craving alcohol or drugs, a sugar addiction is just as real and just as hard to quit.

How to Kick Your Sugar Habit

One reason you may be walking around craving sugar constantly could be you are short on:

  • Chromium

  • Carbon

  • Phosphorous 

  • Sulfur (Sulphur)

  • Tryptophan

 

Chromium instead of Sugary Snacks

Research now shows that people who crave sugar may really have a chromium deficiency. In fact, studies conclude that up to 50 percent of people eat a diet deficient in chromium.

Studies show it may also be beneficial for those who have high blood sugar as a result of taking certain medications, like steroids that are known to spike blood sugar levels.*

Chromium is also commonly used in the fitness world, among athletes looking to boost muscle and lose fat, as studies show it may help support HDL cholesterol (the good kind of cholesterol) while lowering LDL (the bad type of cholesterol).* 

How Much Chromium Do We Need?

When it comes to how much chromium you need each day, The FDA Recommended Daily Intake notes the Daily Value (DV) for chromium as follows: 

Adults and Children over 4: 35mcg/day

Pregnant or Lactating Women: 45 mcg/day 

Infants through 12 Months: 5.5 mcg/day 

Children 1 through 3: 11 mcg/day

Chromium Rich Foods

1. Broccoli

 For an added health boost, try enjoying broccoli with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (Side benefit – Nutritional yeast is a great source of vegan B12 too!). 

2. String Beans

Enjoy with some melted ghee and a pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt for a healthy side dish. 

3. Brewers Yeast

An easy way to enjoy this is to sprinkle some over popcorn or even grain-free tortilla or kale chips for a healthy snack! Yummm!

4. Poultry

Spread your wings and try some turkey or chicken to increase your chromium intake.

5. Grapes

Grapes are naturally rich in chromium and grape juice offers a concentrated source of the mineral. One cup of grape juice contains about 7.5 micrograms of chromium. It’s important to look for 100% grape juice products, as many commercial brands add extra sugars, flavorings, and other ingredients that reduce the juice’s nutritional content.

Here are a few AWESOME RECIPES FOR PEOPLE DEALING WITH CHROMIUM DEFICIENCY

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Carbon instead of Sugary Foods

Carbon is an element of the makeup of sugar.  Getting carbon from healthy sources could help with your sugar cravings.

Carbon is present in all known forms of life, every food we eat contains carbon. Carbon is unique in its ability to form large, diverse molecules because of the way it forms electronic bonds with other atoms. The chemical bonds carbon forms allow it to form long molecular chains essential to life as we know it.

Healthiest Way to Increase Carbon Levels

Eat Fresh Fruits

By eating fresh fruits you will get that natural ‘sweet’ flavor you crave, and boost your carbon levels without succumbing to the unhealthy processed sugar that causes addiction.

Phosphorus instead of Sugary Foods

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient required for bone health and many other bodily functions.

It can be found in many foods, but is especially high in animal proteins, dairy products, nuts and seeds, whole grains and legumes.

Many processed foods also contain phosphorus from phosphate additives used to prolong shelf life or enhance the taste or texture.  Fast food, soda, and convenience store snacks contain these artificial phosphates, which is what your body may be craving when you want a sugary snack.

While phosphorus is good when consumed in moderation, getting too much from artificial additives may be bad for your health. People with kidney disease also need to limit their intake.

Understanding which foods are highest in phosphorus can help you manage your intake as needed.

How much Phosphorus do I need?

The amount of phosphorus you need in your diet depends on your age.

Adults need less phosphorus than children between the ages of 9 and 18, but more than children under age 8.

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for phosphorus is the following:

Adults (ages 19 years and older): 700 mg

Children (ages 9 to 18 years): 1,250 mg

Children (ages 4 to 8 years): 500 mg

Children (ages 1 to 3 years): 460 mg

Infants (ages 7 to 12 months): 275 mg

Infants (ages 0 to 6 months): 100 mg

 

Healthy Phosphorus Rich Foods

1. Chicken and Turkey

One cup (140 grams) of roasted chicken or turkey contains around 300 mg of phosphorus, which is more than 40% of the recommended daily intake (RDI). It is also rich in protein, B vitamins, and selenium.

Light poultry meat contains slightly more phosphorus than dark meat, but both are good sources.

Cooking methods can also affect the phosphorus content of the meat. Roasting preserves the most phosphorus, while boiling reduces levels by about 25%

2. Pork

A typical 3-ounce (85-gram) portion of cooked pork contains 25–32% of the RDI for phosphorus, depending on the cut.

Pork chops contain the least amount of phosphorus, while pork tenderloin contains the most. Even bacon is a good source, containing 6% of the RDI per slice.

Like with poultry, cooking methods can affect the phosphorus content of pork.

Dry heat cooking preserves 90% of the phosphorus, while boiling can reduce phosphorus levels by roughly 25%.

3. Organ Meats

Organ meats, such as the brain and liver, are excellent sources of highly absorbable phosphorus.

One 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of pan-fried cow’s brain contains almost 50% of the RDI for adults

Chicken liver, which is often used to make the French delicacy pâté, contains 53% of the RDI per three ounces (85 grams).

Organ meats are also rich in other essential nutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin B12, iron, and trace minerals. They can make a delicious and nutritious addition to your diet.

4. Seafood

Many types of seafood are good sources of phosphorus.

Cuttlefish, a mollusk related to squid and octopus, is the richest source, supplying 70% of the RDI in one 3-ounce (85-gram) cooked serving.

Other fish that are good sources of phosphorus include (per three ounces or 85 grams) :

Fish Phosphorus % RDI
Carp 451 mg 64%
Sardines 411 mg 59%
Pollock 410 mg 59%
Clams 287 mg 41%
Scallops 284 mg 41%
Salmon 274 mg 39%
Catfish 258 mg 37%
Mackerel 236 mg 34%
Crab 238 mg 34%
Crayfish 230 mg 33%

Some of these foods, like salmon, sardines, and mackerel, are also good sources of the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids that may protect against cancer, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses

5. Dairy

It is estimated that 20–30% of phosphorus in the average American diet comes from dairy products like cheese, milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt.

Just one ounce (28 grams) of Romano cheese contains 213 mg of phosphorus (30% of the RDI), and one cup (245 grams) of skim milk contains 35% of the RDI.

Low-fat and non-fat dairy products, like yogurt and cottage cheese, contain the most phosphorus, while whole-fat dairy products contain the least.

6. Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds

Sunflower and pumpkin seeds also contain large amounts of phosphorus.

One ounce (28 grams) of roasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds contains roughly 45% of the RDI for phosphorus.

However, up to 80% of the phosphorus found in seeds is in a stored form called phytic acid, or phytate, which humans cannot digest.

Soaking seeds until they sprout can help break down phytic acid, releasing some of the phosphorus for absorption.

Pumpkin and sunflower seeds can be enjoyed as a snack, sprinkled on salads, blended into nut butters, or used in pesto, and are a great alternative for people who are allergic to peanuts or tree nuts.

7. Nuts

Most nuts are good sources of phosphorus, but Brazil nuts top the list. Just a 1/2-cup (67 grams) of Brazil nuts provides more than 2/3 of the RDI for adults.

Other nuts containing at least 40% of the RDI per 1/2-cup (60–70 grams) include cashews, almonds, pine nuts and pistachios.

They are also great sources of plant-based protein, antioxidants, and minerals. Eating them regularly is linked with better heart health.

Like seeds, most of the phosphorus in nuts is stored as phytic acid, which is not digestible by humans. Soaking may help, though not all studies agree.

8. Whole Grains

Many whole grains contain phosphorus, including wheat, oats and rice.

Whole wheat contains the most phosphorus (291 mg or 194 grams per cooked cup), followed by oats (180 mg or 234 grams per cooked cup) and rice (162 mg or 194 grams per cooked cup).

Most of the phosphorus in whole grains is found in the outer layer of the endosperm, known as the aleurone, and the inner layer, called the germ.

These layers are removed when grains are refined, which is why whole grains are good sources of phosphorus and why refined grains are not

However, like seeds, most of the phosphorus in whole grains is stored as phytic acid, which is hard for the body to digest and absorb.

Soaking, sprouting, or fermenting the grains can break down some of the phytic acid and make more of the phosphorus available for absorption.

9. Amaranth and Quinoa

While amaranth and quinoa are often referred to as “grains,” they are actually small seeds and are considered pseudocereals.

One cup (246 grams) of cooked amaranth contains 52% of the recommended daily intake of phosphorus for adults and the same volume of cooked quinoa contains 40% of the RDI.

Both of these foods are also good sources of fiber, minerals, and protein, and are naturally gluten-free).

Like other seeds, soaking, sprouting, and fermenting can increase phosphorus availability.

10. Beans and Lentils

Beans and lentils also contain large amounts of phosphorus, and eating them regularly is associated with a lower risk of many chronic diseases, including cancer.

Just one cup (198 grams) of boiled lentils contains 51% of the recommended daily intake and over 15 grams of fiber.

Beans are also rich in phosphorus, especially Great Northern, chickpeas, navy, and pinto beans, which all contain at least 250 mg per cup (164 to 182 grams).

Like the other plant sources of phosphorus, availability of the mineral can be increased by soaking, sprouting, and fermenting the beans.

11. Soy

Soy can be enjoyed in many forms, some higher in phosphorus than others.

Mature soybeans contain the most phosphorus, while edamame, the immature form of soy, contains 60% less.

Mature soybeans can be seasoned, roasted, and enjoyed as a delicious crunchy snack that provides over 100% of the RDI per 2/3 cup (172 grams).

Fermented soy products, like tempeh and natto, are also good sources, providing 212 mg and 146 mg per 3-ounce (85-grams) serving, respectively.

Most other prepared soy products, like tofu and soy milk, are not as good sources of phosphorus, containing less than 20% of the RDI per serving.

Sulfur instead of Sugary Snacks

Most sugar is processed with sulfur, and that could be what you’re craving.  Generally, when people refer to the unhealthy side effects of sulfur, you’ll see it spelled sulphur.  I don’t know why that is, but the two are one in the same.

By weight, sulfur is one of the most abundant mineral elements in the human body, coming in at around 140 grams for the average person. And as any regular reader of this blog should know, you don’t get to be an abundant mineral in human physiology by accident. Nope: sulfur is involved in hundreds of physiological processes. Let’s explore some of the big ones:

Sulfur is required for the synthesis of glutathione, one of our premier endogenous antioxidants. I’ve talked a bit about glutathione before. It’s one of the good ones.

Sulfur, in the form of disulfide bonds, provides strength and resiliency to hair, feathers, and feathered hair.

Sulfur is required for taurine synthesis. Taurine is essential for the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system, our muscles, and the central nervous system.

Sulfur binds the two chains of amino acids that form insulin. Insulin gets a bad rap because anytime you hear about it, it’s associated with negative things, it’s absolutely necessary for life.

Sulfur is found in methionine, an essential amino acid (think meat, eggs, cheese), and in cysteine, a “non-essential” amino acid (think pork, poultry, eggs, milk).

Sulfur Rich Foods to Curb Sugar Cravings

1. Cranberries

Cranberries are rich in various healthy vitamins and plant compounds.

Many people consider cranberries to be a superfood due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content.

In fact, research has linked the nutrients in cranberries to a lower risk of urinary tract infection (UTI), the prevention of certain types of cancer, improved immune function, and decreased blood pressure.

2. Cauliflower

Cauliflower is much more than broccoli’s pale cousin. This member of the cruciferous vegetable family,  packed with a rich supply of nutrients and is finally getting the attention it deserves as a nutrition powerhouse. 

With a nutty and slightly sweet taste, cauliflower has become one of the trendiest vegetables over the last few years, making its way onto restaurant menus and dinner tables in a variety of ways, especially riced versions of the vegetable.  

Although vividly colored fruits and veggies tend to be the healthiest choices, cauliflower is a notable exception. 

Despite its white color, cauliflower is a very versatile and vitamin-rich vegetable.  It is a great source of vitamin C and folate and a good source of fiber and vitamin K. It is also rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, two naturally occurring compounds thought to play a role in preventing chronic diseases.

3. Cabbage

The sulfur-containing compound, sulforaphane, which gives these vegetables their bitter taste, is also what specifically gives them their cancer-fighting power. Sulforaphane has been shown to inhibit the progression of cancer cells.

4. Horseradish

High in sulfur and potassium, horseradish is also rich in vitamin C and calcium, but moderate in carbohydrates.

Its vapors have long been known to open up respiratory passages during colds.

Not to be confused with Japanese Horseradish, Wasabi, our Horseradish still gives quite a kick.  Maybe that’s why they call it “horse” radish?  

You can generally find fresh horseradish at your local farmer’s market.  If you mix it with white vinegar you get the “prepared” horseradish we’re more familiar with.  

 

So next time you’re craving sugar, try blanching some cauliflower and pouring a little prepared horseradish on it.  Just do so in moderation, too much sulfur can be hazardous.

 

Tryptophan instead of Sugary Snacks

Tryptophan, you may know colloquially as the thing in turkey that makes us tired after eating dinner on the holidays.  , Tryptophan is an amino acid that produces serotonin, the hormone that makes us happy.

Tryptophan is the rarest amino acid in our diet and the amino acid transporter that gets tryptophan into the brain is easily perturbed. If you’re serotonin-deficient and depressed, you’re going to want to boost your serotonin any way you can. Eating more carbohydrates, especially sugar, initially does double duty — it facilitates tryptophan transport, and it generates a dopamine response for pleasure in the short-term. But as the dopamine signal down-regulates, more sugar is needed for the same effect, driving a vicious cycle of consumption to generate a pleasure that withers in the face of persistent unhappiness.

Fun fact: All amino acids ride into your brain on chemical pathways, but your brain makes way for the bouncy tyrosine first and the soothing tryptophan last. That’s why a high-protein meal heightens your alertness.

Chances are if you’re struggling with sugar cravings, tryptophan is the culprit.

Any addiction you are struggling with could be satiated temporarily with this serotonin-producing super amino.

There are healthy ways to ingest tryptophan that won’t kill your gut. 

 

Tryptophan Filled Foods To Substitute Your Sugar Cravings

1. Cheese

If you’re struggling with a bad addiction, look to Jesus Christ; but if it’s just a small craving, cheese is nice.  Forgive the silly rhyme, but this post is getting long and I’m feeling nutty, although we discussed nuts as chocolate cravings substitute earlier, anyways it’s all eats to me.

There’s a reason people go crazy for this science experiment gone right.  Cheese is filled with the happiness producing amino known as tryptophan.   

Much like the above craving cures, we do want to monitor our intake.  The theme of this blog is moderation of course.

2. Raisins

If you’re looking for the biggest bang for your buck, try the classic dried grape we know as raisins.  Raisins contain the highest amount of tryptophan per gram (0.05g) of any other fruit.   Just above lesser-known and harder to find fruits such as; Sapote, Kiwifruit, and Jackfruit.  

Well played, Sun-Maid.

3. Sweet Potatoes

Having trouble sleeping, do you need that sweet snack to help you get to bed? Try this tryptophan-rich complex carb that won’t waste your waistline.   

4. Spinach

I know what you’re thinking, “wait…spinach!? That’s the thing my mom made me eat.”  Actually, Popeye was on to something.  Spinach actually contains 26% RDI (72mg) of tryptophan.

Craving Bread, Pasta, or other Carb-filled Foods?

Although I am of Irish descent, I was raised in an Italian neighborhood; so often I find myself craving a little macaroni and gravy (that’s pasta and tomato sauce for the uninitiated).  What’s a good bowl of pasta without the fresh-baked bread?!  But then I remember I have a life to live and clothes to fit into.  

What do I do?  

How a High Protein Diet Helps Curb Carb Cravings

If you are craving bread, pasta, or other carby confections of similar ilk it may indicate a nitrogen deficiency, 

A good measurement for how much nitrogen is in a particular food or food group is how much protein that food has. Protein naturally contains nitrogen, and eating some foods that contain protein at each meal can help reduce a person’s overall appetite. Protein also is good for building and rebuilding muscle material, which is something to keep in mind if you are increasing protein intake as part of a diet and exercise routine.

High protein foods: meat, fatty fish, nuts, beans, chia seeds

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Craving Oily Foods?

If you are craving greasy foods you might not be eating enough calcium. This mineral is found in veggies, dairy, and greens.  

Calcium Rich Foods To Kick Your Greasy Cravings

1.Organic milk

Like the famous 1980s dairy commercial says “Milk, it does the body good.”  Go organic to avoid unnecessary chemical components.  A glass contains 30% of your RDI (300mg).  

2. Cheese

Cheese is made from milk which is high in calcium, so naturally, cheese is another fantastic source.  Just because we’re advocating cheese as a great alternative for several kinds of cravings, don’t go wild and start your own cheesy diet. (sorry for the cheesy joke)

3. Green Leafy Vegetables

Collard greens, spinach, and kale among others contain the kind of calcium to curb that oily craving.

Craving Salty Foods?

Whether it’s chips, pretzels, popcorn, or fries at Mickey D’s, we’ve all experienced the need for salt.  Not only are salt cravings common but they are normal and there are many biological reasons why our bodies crave salt. 

Why do we crave salt?  

Salt is a highly addictive taste. Our brains and bodies are designed to enjoy salt because it’s necessary to survive. Over the course of human history, finding salt was difficult, so craving salt was a survival mechanism.

Today, however, the average American eats too much salt. The American Heart Association recommends that adults consume between 1,500 and 2,400 milligrams (mg) of salt per day. That’s no more than one teaspoon of salt per day. Most people take in close to 3,400 mg each day, however.

Craving salt may be a symptom of a health condition and not just a yearning for a mid-afternoon snack. 

Your salt craving could indicate: 

  • Dehydration
  • Electrolyte Imbalance
  • Addison’s Disease
  • Stress
  • Bartter’s Syndrome
  • Pregnancy
  • Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) 

Chloride-ing High in Silicon Valley

Salty food cravings mean you are deficient in silicon or chloride (or both).   Below are some healthy options for filling this biological need.

Chloride filled foods to Substitute for Salty Food Cravings 

Chloride is an electrolyte that when coupled with sodium makes table salt.  Sodium has fewer health benefits so it is important to find chloride-rich substitutes.

1. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish will help with your salty cravings, and come with an added bonus of healthy Omega-3s.

2. Goat Milk

Drink this and you will feel like the G.reatest O.f A.ll T.ime.

Silicon stacked snacks to Substitute for Salty Food Cravings 

1. Cashews

Roasted and unsalted are best.

2. Nuts

Much like cashews, it is best to skip the super salty versions.

3. Seeds

Sunflower, chia, and other seeds can help curb your salty wants.

What Now?

Knowing is half the battle, now that you are familiar with healthy substitutes for unhealthy cravings.

There are several foods that show up for multiple cravings: nuts, seeds, fatty fish, leafy greens, and lean meats.

Make sure you are stocking your pantry with these super craving killing staples.

Also, keep in mind that all of these solutions are meant to be ingested in moderation, and with the idea of achieving the daily value of whatever mineral or vitamin deficiency you may be experiencing.

If these replacements don’t solve your problem, it could be an indication of a larger issue you may want to consult your doctor about.

Hopefully, you are able to quell your craving monster and turn it into a satiated pet blissfully resting in your belly.

After all, we don’t need a Spaceballs situation:

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