Pre-diabetes and Poor Diet
Long-term a poor diet may result in hormones not communicating with our cells effectively – a condition known as insulin resistance. We may experience sugar highs, lows and ’false starving’. Get your blood sugar levels checked – a fasting and a glucose tolerance test.
Stress increases level of the stress hormone Cortisol and this affects food management hormones potentially leading to periods of fasting and bingeing. Learn to manage your stressors as long-term stress is detrimental to your physical and mental health.
Alcohol Excess – Alcohol is very high in sugar and the body produces more insulin to cope with the sugar load. Excess insulin can drive down your blood sugar levels and lead to cravings for sugary foods the following day. You lose electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium) in your urine and may crave salt and nutrients the following day. A craving for orange juice after alcohol may be a craving for sugar along with Vitamin C. Vitamin C is a protector of your body from damage from alcohol.
Addiction – Research using CAT scans has shown certain areas of the brain light up in obese people as they do in alcoholics and drug addicts (Dopamine 2 receptors). Some people may be genetically predisposed to addictions. We produce substances in our brain after periods of binges and restricting which have the same chemical structure as the opioids in addictive narcotics after eating our ‘cravings’. Interestingly, Opioid blocker drugs have been shown to reduce food cravings.
Carbohydrate cravings may be a subconscious attempt to raise serotonin levels. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for mood, sleep and appetite control. It is made from an amino acid called tryptophan and this is absorbed more quickly into the brain after eating a carbohydrate meal.
Body craving a nutrient– Dark Chocolate (cocoa) is a source of magnesium, Red meat a source of iron, Shellfish a source of zinc. Learn more about the foods that you crave as you may need certain nutrients.
Resource: Return to Health