Should You Follow Mom’s Nutrition Tips?
Ayoob: It depends on what you’re craving. If the craving is for cupcakes, it’s probably psychological, not physiological. But sometimes people have cravings for specific foods that could indicate a minor nutrient deficiency. For instance, if you regularly crave something salty after exercise, it may be because you need to replace potassium or sodium, minerals that are lost through sweating.
Tallmadge: That’s the silliest myth of all, especially as most cravings are for chocolate, chips, or ice cream. Cravings are usually irrational, they’re often for comfort foods, and they’re typically the result of underfeeding yourself and then seeing or smelling something sweet or fatty or salty.
Bonci: Nope, with the exception of the disorder pica [a yen for a nonfood item, like dirt or paper, which could indicate an iron deficiency]. Usually food cravings are psychological—they don’t mean your body needs Godiva. People assume that a craving is just for a particular taste, but it’s often for a taste, a temperature, or a texture. My advice is to incorporate some of the foods you crave into your weekly diet in planned, controlled amounts.