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Craving junk food? Here are some reasons you love eating pizza, burger, ice cream etc

All of us know waiting for junk food can be unhealthy, but y do we still crave it? Let's find out the reasons for these cravings. 

Craving junk food? Here are some reasons you love eating pizza, burger, ice cream etc SUR
First Published Sep 19, 2022, 7:00 AM IST

We crave junk food despite us knowing that it's unhealthy it causes many health problems and can be the cause of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, heart attack and many more health issues which are neglected when we choose Junk over healthy food to satisfy our gastronomical needs.

Research work in this area is still on.  According to Kajal and Bushra, Dieticians and Co-Founder of Healthy Steady have discussed why we carve for junk food. 

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Many believe that healthy and nutritious foods cannot be delicious!  We don’t like eating healthy food like fruit and veggies as they did not like it as kids.  The good news is that you aren’t a kid anymore. Did you know your taste buds change every 5-6 years and take up to 10-12 tries before you develop a taste for certain foods?  We know junk food is tastier, but healthier versions can be made with it being tasty.  Many restarts have driven the trend of eating healthy food as delicious as junk food. 
Many people view sleep as a sign of weakness and lose hours by sleeping.  Research shows that sleeping less than required leads to more cravings- and unhealthy foods.  

Craving junk food? Here are some reasons you love eating pizza, burger, ice cream etc SUR

A recent study which analysed brain activity and compared those who slept 9 hours v/s 4 hours found those who slept less, the areas associated with pleasure lit up more when subjects viewed pictures of ice cream and pizza compared to veggies and yoghurt.  “Sleep deprivation adversely affects all systems in our body, leading to an increased craving for comfort, whether it’s from a warm hug or junk food.”

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Our body releases a stress hormone called “Cortisol” in a stressful situation.  Fats and sugars have been scientifically proven to make one feel better and more comfortable.  As a result, our body ends up craving more of such foods.  A study backed this up by concluding: Sugar seems to lower cortisol and quiet stress signals in the brain.

Be it your monthly menstrual periods or when a lady is pregnant, hormones in your body can create chaos.  Some hormones like Leptin and Serotonin, which coordinate your gut and brain, can lead to super intense cravings at unlikely hours.

Craving junk food? Here are some reasons you love eating pizza, burger, ice cream etc SUR

Ever wondered why everyone says to chew your food 32 times before you swallow?  Well, 32 is a far-fetched number because nowadays, people target to finish their entire meals within a span of 5-10 mins.  It’s time we all reconsider this habit now.  Eating too quickly can create miscommunication between the gut and the brain, whereby signals of satiety to the brain can be missed leading to over-eating.

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Many times thirst signals are misinterpreted as hunger signals by our minds.  If we don’t drink enough water or our meals lack protein, these hunger pangs will make us reach out for all the unhealthy junk food lying around the house.

An underlying nutrient deficiency can also lead to cravings for specific foods.  Such as, magnesium deficiency causes you to crave chocolates, nuts, or beans.  Sugar drops or lack of chromium or phosphorus can lead to sugar cravings.  Similarly, a primary sodium deficiency will make you crave salty foods like chips.

It’s pretty natural; when one person craves some junk and voices it out, the other starts dreaming it too.  Both of them then together enjoy their meal with good company.  PICA is a condition in which people crave nonfood items, such as chalk, dirt, coins, and ice chips.

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