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Here’s why you crave the ‘bad stuff’

craving bad food resize

Why do we get cravings for cakes and chips and never foods that are good for us, like cauliflower or spinach? I don’t know the answer but I do know that giving in to every unhealthy craving you get is not good for your health or your waistline.

Here is a list of how to say NO to some of the cravings you might get.

Chocolatechocolate moussee

Craving chocolate might be sign of magnesium deficiency. So what you should do if you start to crave chocolate is to eat more wholegrains, beans, nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables (spinach). If you still feel the need to eat a piece of chocolate you can buy dark chocolate (at least 50% to 70% cocoa solids), but only eat one or two cubes and no more than that.

Cakes and biscuitsChocolate cake

Sugar is very addictive and our bodies react to it like a drug; we start to crave a fix if we go without it for too long. The cause of craving sugar might be because your energy levels are down and you have low blood sugar levels. But, instead of eating all the cake or biscuits in sight, try eating some figs or granadillas. You should try to keep your blood sugar balanced by not skipping any of your meals, especially breakfast!

Fizzy drinks

I don’t know what it is about fizzy drinks but we all love them! It might be the fizzy sensation or the sweet taste that makes us return for more – even the diet fizzy drinks are loaded with additives! So, instead of reaching for them, try sparkling water for the fizzy-sensation or a sugar-free gum for the sweet taste.

Salty chipschips

Craving salty chips could mean that you feel stressed, or you might have problems with your adrenal glands and your body’s sodium levels are off balance. The worst thing you can do is grab that packet of chips because too much salt can give you high blood pressure. So, instead of going for the chips when you’re feeling stressed, try breathing exercises to calm yourself down.

CoffeeFrench press, coffee

Coffee can become a big problem for some people. I’ve heard of people who drink 10 to 15 cups a day. Craving coffee might mean that your energy levels are low. But you don’t need coffee to fix that. You could try to get more sleep, or visit your doctor because you may be low on nutrients such as iron, vitamin B12 or magnesium, which are all essential for energy. Try swapping your coffee for some green tea instead.

Don’t get us wrong. We are not saying you should never eat or drink any of the above, but remember to do it in moderation.

Words: Natassha Burrell


Mariette Steynberg is a qualified economist with a post-graduate diploma in financial planning. She has enjoyed working on holistic financial plans for clients in various stages of life, as well as a development economist assessing the socioeconomic impacts of new developments. When she is not working, Mariette enjoys parenting her quirky, delightful toddler girl. Cloth diapering, Eskimo kisses and the importance of reading to your child are all causes close to her heart. Mariette is passionate about financial education and hopes to use the experience she has gained to share knowledge with HomeTimes’ readership. Her goal is to provide information that is implementable by everyone.

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