Why Do We Have Cravings?

Why Do We Have Cravings?


This episode of Dnews is brought to you by
Domain.com Okay so we’re a month behind in meme time,
but we know goats crave that mineral but why do we crave anything? Cravings are a strange phenomena and it’s
not just pregnant women who get them. folk wisdom says that craving a mineral means
you have some mineral deficiency. But let’s be real here, if that worked then we would
all crave healthy foods rather than mac and cheese and chocolate. Recently, researchers from the Picower Institute
for Learning and Memory looked at sugar cravings in mice to see what
was going on in the brain. They looked at the relationship between the the ventral tegmental
area which is the brain’s natural reward processing center and the lateral hypothalamus
which is responsible for feeding. They used a technique called optogenetics.
This process uses light to trigger light sensitive proteins that can activate or silence a set
of neurons that connect these two parts of the brain. When activated, the mice stuffed their faces
with sweetness and overate even when they weren’t hungry. When silenced, the mice
still ate regular food when they were hungry, but they no longer compulsively ate the sugar.
This indicated that the neural circuit for sugar cravings is a different circuit than
the one that regulates healthy eating. Mice aside, for us most cravings start with
a cue. Think of Pavlov’s dogs. Something happens that just gets our mouth watering.
Like dreaming of your mom’s roast beef as soon as you land back in your hometown or
craving ice cream on a hot summer day. Another cue for most people is stress, which can trigger
cravings for comfort food. We crave chocolate during hormonal fluctuations, not for any
biological reason. We’ve just come to associate the chocolate with comfort during a pretty
uncomfortable time of the month. Cravings feel so strong because they are so
vivid in the mind. The very act of craving a food, not just being hungry and wanting
to eat, but craving something specific like ice cream or chocolate, conjures up images
in the brain, which uses up cognitive resources. One study showed that those who craved chocolate
did worse on memory and math problems. We can literally distract ourselves with our
cravings. We typically crave high-caloric foods, stuffed
with fat and sugar, because they were a rarity in our evolutionary past. We evolved a reward
system associated with these foods. When we eat sweets our brain kicks off a cascade of
chemistry, feel good hormones like dopamine and serotonin flood our system, giving us
a bit of a sugar high. So when we’re stressed and need a bit of a pick me up, we turn to
these foods. While we all crave something at some point
in our lives, unusual cravings might be a sign of an underlying medical condition. Craving salt? You might have addison’s disease.
Addison’s disease degrades the endocrine system leading to electrolyte imbalances.
The adrenal glands don’t make enough cortisol and AL DOSS TER OWN aldosterone. Aldosterone
helps the body hold on to the salt it needs. When you don’t make enough of it, you can
get an unusually strong desire to eat salty things. Craving chalk? or paint chips? You might have
Pica, named from the Latin for Magpie, because of the belief magpies’lll eat anything.
Pica is the bizarre behavior of eating things like clay, chalk, soap, dirt, or rocks. Scientists
think a lack of nutrients might cause this craving maybe because of an iron deficiency,
celiacs disease or hookworm. Mental health related illness like OCD or schizophrenia
might also lead someone to chow down on chalk. By the way, if you’re craving a better website,
why not buy a domain name from domain.com? No domain extension will help you tell your
story like a DOT COM or DOT NET domain name. And because you watch DNews, you can get 15%
off Domain Dot Com’s names and web hosting by using the code DNews when you check out. Want to learn more about cravings? Click here
and let Laci tell you more about how they can be caused by high stress. And be sure
to subscribe here for more DNews every day of the week.

100 thoughts on “Why Do We Have Cravings?”

  1. 1:11… In Pavlov's writings it wasn't just the bell that was the dogs cue for food. He used other types of stimuli more then the bell

  2. i NEVER crave food. it really sucks. i will literally forget to eat because i never think of food, then i feel nauseous and weak which makes me want to eat even less.

  3. I was wondering why the joke wasn't funny

    Then I realized it was a tumblr original

    Now I understand why it wasn't funny.

  4. erm… occasionally I crave veggies, nuts or  just apples….well thats mixed in the craving for the unhealthy burger stuff XP Its so good tasting to when having a craving for raw paprika you bite down on some. The heavenly taste~~~

  5. People crave unhealthy food? I crave protein or sugar and my cravings are satisfied with any food that has high amounts of protein or sugar, which ever one I'm craving. It doesn't matter if it's healthy or not. Like right now I'm craving protein with a little bit of sugar.

  6. I crave sugar and carbs. I used to eat them a lot but now (surprise) I'm diabetic so I have to avoid them as much as I can. Unfortunately I end up eating them fairly often anyway since they're about the only things that make me happy.

  7. Yup, it'd be gr8 if people's cues weren't based solely on the suffering of other animals when there are a plethora of alternatives. Yup.

  8. well shit, when i smell like the stair case in my building it smell like… concrete? and its a smell i really like lol ever since i was a kid and it sometimes makes my mouth water…. doctor here i come! XD

  9. Teacher's Chalk is not chalk. Chalk is calcium carbonate.
    Teachers chalk is gypsum. Please get this right next time DNews….

  10. Most cravings I get are actually due to drinking too little water. Solid Foods also contain water and if you don't drink enough your body will get it through pizza. 

  11. Ever since this host made a video on "reverse evolution" I have trouble trusting what she says as truth and I'm actually kind of mad at her that she spread misinformation the way she did.

  12. ummm if you are craving chocolate at "that time of the month" then you are likely low in magnesium. 70% of Americans are deficient in magnesium. Magnesium is essential for many biochemical processes including muscle and nerve function.Estrogen and progesterone (both play a big role in ones menstrual cycle) effect the bodies stores of Magnesium. So it IS hormone related.

    For shame DNews. For shame

    Of course this doesn't mean a person should scarf down sugar loaded chocolate treats, but it should lead one to asks questions about magnesium and mineral deficiency… and a little 80%+ cocoa  dark chocolate doesn't hurt 😉

  13. When I have cravings I crave sugar most. Usually chocolate but since I am vegan I do not eat it of course. I eat vegan cookies or vegan brownies instead which In my opinion vegan brownies are gooier than regular brownies especially when warm

  14. I don't have cravings. I usually eat what I know I can make out of what is available to eat. Today I had an egg and cheese sandwich on toasted bread, water, and a little container of cheese Pringles, cinnamon Pop-tarts and water for breakfast an Orange for a snack. I'm not sure what I'll eat for dinner, yet.

  15. Some weeks ago I had a huge craving for fish meat. I ate a shit ton of fish (I was literally eating only fish, like 5-6 fish a day). After some days it went away and now I'm eating normal. I guess I'm just weird like that :p

  16. Good video for the most part.  Clothes and hair looked great.  I felt like there where too many jumps and on my computer, I barely heard the background music.  Good job to all those involved.

  17. I had pica as a child. My parents couldn't get me to eat pizza but I sure loved paper, erasers, and styrofoam. Also rocks, coins, and crepe paper. Crepe paper was the best, it was kind of salty and dissolved in the mouth.

  18. I've got an exam today and I've been craving cake for the past 24 hours… That stress theory is all too true 😭

  19. What is happening in my brain when i know i am physically hungry (empty stomach/ growling) but i have no mental hunger. Like when you are hungry you imagine foods but for me i just know i have to eat without actually wanting the food or being bothered to eat anything. I only eat because i have acid reflux and too much acidity and it will cause me pain if i don't eat when i feel the cues of physical hunger or i have to remember i ate so and so hours ago and should probably eat something again now. I also hardly ever have cravings for anything whatsoever. Only when i'm on my period i have some semblance of craving things but never to the intensity that would make me actually want to eat it.

  20. I actually do have Addison's….I do "crave" salt, but not a lot, because the American diet is very high in salt regardless.

  21. Healthy food, unfortunately, don't have the same feelings as you do as you eat chocolate. Chocolate is strong, the same as falling in love as strong. Healthy food is a lot more weaker in my opinion, and it's only because it doesn't make me crave like unhealthy food does.

  22. Most of psychological research is crap as u cannot at all relate to it or Probably I am a robot so I cannot relate to it.

    Come on. We simply begin to crave what we r deficient of or that is entertaining.
    Work is good for us, but we don't crave it. We crave games bcz they r entertaining
    Go on diet & u will begin to crave sugar since it is high on calories
    Overeat for 3 days & your body will crave for healthy foods.

    But if u overeat for 3 weeks u will become compulsive over-eater. That is a habit development phenomenon

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