3 Ways to Conquer Your Food Cravings

Cravings feel like itches that desperately need to be scratched. Food cravings can be described as an extreme desire to consume specific foods. These feelings are often stronger than normal hunger.

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Food engineers and food scientists have studied what makes us crave certain foods more than others. Fat, salt and sweet is the winning trifecta of taste that fuels most of our food cravings. Taste is king, and the foods that taste the best are the ones that deliver on the preferred ratios for salt, sugar, fat, and other features that make food exciting. Food manufacturers, scientists, and engineers use a wide variety of these factors to make food more attractive. They know that for some of us, our craving-focus may be on the texture of food. It might be creamy, crunchy or a mouth-watering balance of both. For others, their craving-focus might be centered on taste. The taste might be salty, sweet, or a lip-smacking blend of each. The goal is to make us want to eat more Chanh dây.

Calories are a measure of how much energy we get from a serving size of food.

Caloric density, different from nutrient density, is an important means that is used to keep us coming back for more. The caloric density or energy density of a particular food is a measurement of the average calories per unit (gram or ounce or bite) of that food. All foods contain nutrients. Unlike calorie dense foods, nutrient dense foods are high in nutrients for the number of calories per unit (gram or ounce or bite) they contain. Foods that are energy or calorie dense have a high concentration of calories per bite. Some common everyday processed foods that are energy dense are the packaged snack foods, frosted cakes with filling, cookies, and candies. Traditional fast foods such as cheeseburgers, fried chicken, and French fries and bakery items like doughnuts are legendary for their energy density. Junk foods are considered empty calorie foods because they are low in nutritional density and high on calories per ounce or bite. These high energy dense or high calorie dense foods offer a high concentration of calories per bite, and are associated with high pleasure by the brain These foods are designed to be tasty (i.e. potato chips) and not filling. Because junk foods are low in satisfaction value, people tend not to feel full when they eat them. This low satisfaction experience almost always leads to over eating. Junk food is characteristically high in palatability, high in fat, and high in calories, but low in fiber and volume.

Low energy dense foods, in contrast to high energy dense foods, tend to be highly nutrient dense. In general they are moist and juicy. Low energy dense foods have a high percentage of fiber that retains their natural water. Most vegetables, fruits, and legumes are examples of low energy dense foods.

Follow these 3 tips to conquer your food cravings, and get an added bonus of weight loss, and inches off your waist.

Tip #1 Seek out and eat low caloric density or low energy density foods

These foods are usually high in water and low in fat. Intentionally limit your consumption of high caloric density foods which are usually processed snacks desserts and junk foods.

To do this let you plate be your guide. Dilute out high caloric density foods/meals by filling ½ your plate with unprocessed whole grains, starchy veggies, and/or legumes or fruit. Adding vegetables to any dish lowers the caloric density of most meals. Go for low caloric density foods for craving and weight control.

Tip #2 Eat until you are full.

Along the road from hunger to satiety eat until you are comfortably full. It is easier to conquer your cravings when you are full. Be intentional. Since energy dense food offers a lot more calories and will leave you asking for more, choose low energy dense foods which are low in calories and high in nutrient density, water, and fiber that will leave you satisfied. Feeling feel full and satisfied is the strongest way to conquer food cravings.


Dry Foods 101

Dried foods are foods that have had the moisture from them removed by methods such as air-drying or water-drying. The moisture is evaporated away, leaving the food dry. Dried foods are used to prepare shelf stable food products in place of fresh ingredients. Some of these products include cookies, cakes, breads, and snack foods. They are also used to preserve fish and meats for later use.

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Dried fruits are dried foods that have had all of their water and moisture completely removed. Dried fruits retain almost no moisture and can be stored for years. Dried meats and fish are also one of the more popular uses for dried foods. Dried fruits are used to add flavor and color to jams, dips, sauces, salad dressings and pickles. Dried meats can be used on sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, soups and stews kingfoods.

Air-Drying: Air-dried foods are those that are dried using an air compressor. Food drying is a simple and quick process in which water is evaporated away leaving the food in its original bag. Dried fruits, herbs, spices, and vegetables are some of the most commonly used air dried foods. Air-dried foods are used to preserve fish and meats for later use. Dried meat can be used on sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, soups and stews. They can also be used to top fish and meats with a delicious sauce.

Water Drying: Water-drying is the slowest method yet produces the most tender dried foods. Water is evaporated away from fruits, vegetables, and herbs leaving the product in its natural state. There is an important difference between these two drying methods. When using water-dried foods, the moisture is removed by exposing it to air resulting in a less than perfect product.

Blanching: Blanching is a process which not only removes excess moisture but also removes excess vitamins and minerals from the foods. Blanching foods is done by placing them into a large pot or pan and gently heating the water so the foods begin to steam. The water is removed by draining it away from the foods. Blanching foods helps retain vitamins and nutrients in the dried product.

Dried foods will last for many years if they are carefully stored. When placed in air-tight glass containers they retain the moisture well. Placing them in Tupperware containers with lids will keep them from being damaged. Food storage racks are another way to store dried product. Plastic, wooden or metal racks work well because they remove the moisture. When purchasing food, always check for moisture content.