This month Brad King, M.S., MFS, fitness and nutritional expert, explains how sugar and carbohydrates affect how optimally our “well-oiled machine” of a body works when it’s lacking important nutritional components. It’s amazing to think that we will crave chocolate because of a biological need for magnesium and chromium. It really gives one “food for thought” to think that there are ways we can combat that three o’clock craving for something bad for us. Easier said than done, but once you’re equipped with the “why” you crave that chocolate bar, perhaps then you can move onto the “how” you can avoid it without feeling that you’ve denied yourself something you “need”. I’m going to give Brad’s advice a try today!
WHY DO WE HAVE CRAVINGS?
There is some evidence that certain cravings may reflect a primitive mechanism within the body, which uses appetite to guide a person to foods containing the missing or needed elements or nutritional deficiencies. For instance, it’s suggested that bizarre cravings for food combinations (i.e., ice cream and pickles) may actually have a rational biological explanation once all the elements are considered. As the late Dr. Lendon Smith pointed out in his bestselling book, “Feed Your Body Right,” pregnancy cravings for foods like ice cream may represent a need for extra calcium, while pickles would represent the need for acid to absorb the calcium.
We know that chocolate is the most frequently craved of all foods, especially during a woman’s menstrual cycle. This may be in part due to a magnesium deficiency, as treatment with magnesium has been shown to reduce chocolate cravings. Another important nutrient is the trace mineral chromium, which is essential in normal carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. Chromium deficiency can lead to elevated insulin levels, which enhances fat storage and eventually leads to a low blood sugar environment, creating the need for more sugar. The interesting thing is that most of our soils are depleted of this essential element causing a possible deficiency in the majority of the population. Many excessive sugar eaters (i.e., processed food)—aside from constantly storing body fat—lose a tremendous amount of chromium through their urine as a by-product of metabolizing the sugar.
B VITAMINS AND SUGAR
Excess sugars in the body also act like a vacuum for B Vitamins. Without the B vitamins, your body cannot produce efficient energy or manufacture the necessary neurochemicals for proper brain functions (one of the reasons B vitamins are so important in alleviating some depressive states). When we suffer from mood disorders like depression, the brain will always crave more sweets in order to temporarily elevate feel-good brain chemicals like serotonin. All these extra carbs accomplish are more cravings for the sweet foods and extra fat accumulation.
According to one of the longest running studies (the Framingham study), vitamin B12 deficiencies are believed to affect almost half of the North American population. Aside from B12’s role in helping our brain—and moods—function better, a B12 deficiency can disrupt our ability to produce energy. Any disruption in our energy cycle will greatly disturb our ability to burn fat, which is yet another way in which the wrong carbohydrates can cause fat to accumulate.
These reasons and many more are why an easily absorbed multi-vitamin/mineral supplement is so important. Ultimate Multi Maximum Daily Protection formula is designed using enzymatically activated nutrients in their most absorbable and acceptable forms so your body can get back to what it does best – keeping you running at peak efficiency.