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StephK's avatar

I'm craving processed foods lately... what's up?

Asked by StephK (1444points) October 27th, 2009

Normally I’m a pretty healthy eater—lots of fruits, veggies, balanced homemade meals, etc.—but this past week all I’ve wanted are chips, cokes, and McDonald’s (><)... and, well, generally things that are entirely bad to eat & that I wouldn’t normally crave. Anyone have an idea why I could be wanting these?

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22 Answers

holden's avatar

You’re pregnant. Congratulations!

SeventhSense's avatar

Smoking weed?

gemiwing's avatar

I’m doing the same thing right now. For me, it’s because I cook so much during the summer and holiday season that I just want a break right now. Plus its getting colder so my body is gearing up for winter. You know, all that stress from watching tv, wrapping gifts and untangling holiday lights.

Likeradar's avatar

Any changes in your life? Stress, increase/decrease in exercise, etc…

RedPowerLady's avatar

Is it possible that you are lacking essential fats in your diet. Or salt?

Both of those ingredients occur largely in processed foods.

I also think that @Likeradar has a good idea. Mood changes also cause this type of change.

Darwin's avatar

You are suffering from a sodium deficiency?

You have a modern form of Pica, a disorder wherein the sufferer has a medical disorder characterized by an appetite for substances largely non-nutritive (e.g., clay, coal, soil, feces, chalk, paper, soap, mucus, ash, gum etc.) or an abnormal appetite for some things that may be considered foods, such as food ingredients (e.g., flour, raw potato, raw rice, starch, ice cubes, salt)?

You have seen “Super Size Me” one too many times?

You are pregnant?

deni's avatar

I am like this most days that I smoke, and the week before my period, and other days here and there…..I suck.

StephK's avatar

Lol, definitely not pregnant or stoned – although I should’ve seen those responses coming.

Maybe it’s a sodium deficiency… or maybe not, since I am avoiding the chip-flavored salt lick (Great Value chips) from Walmart after eating a couple bites. @RedPowerLady: What kinds of fats? I’m thinking most would be covered in the food that I’m make, but maybe I’m wrong?

And I do have a strange affinity for raw dough/raw foods (rice, ice, pasta, etc), although I can’t say the same for feces or chalk. So I doubt it’s Pica, although that is a great name for a disorder. (Plus I doubt it would make for a sudden dietary change since I’ve always liked these foods.)

I did just finish a really stressful week, but am feeling considerably de-stressed now. And I’ve been through weeks like that before without any huge change in eating habits.

StephK's avatar

PS: It’s a bit embarrasing that one of this question’s sibling questions is about constipation.

skfinkel's avatar

I was going to say pregnant too—even though I am guessing you are a Stephen. Maybe Stephanie.

I think those processed foods are filled with coke. ( I love coffee flavored dannon yogurt and I am convinced it has something in it addictive. I am not alone—I see others piling up those coffee yogurts in their grocery carts—they put something in there we can’t resist. Maybe it’s just sugar.)

I think sugar and fats go straight to your brain, and they make you happy, so if you have been stressed, maybe this is a self-healing kind of thing. Try relaxing and see if the urge to eat crapola goes away.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@StephK Well your body needs essential fatty acids such as fish oils (Omega 3s). If you don’t have enough fat your body will crave it. That is why so many of us crave fats. The thing is if you are craving fats your body can’t tell you to eat the good ones. So you go for the bad ones because of the craving but never satisfy the craving because you need the good ones. Vicious cycle. Eat some salmon or go get yourself some fish oil with DHA.

Noticeable signs of a lack of good fats are:
– Moodiness
– Lack of Concentration and or Memory
– Dry Skin
– Fatigue
– Joint Pain
(everyone experiences different symptoms but those are some classics). But I think your craving the fatty foods could be a good sign you need them. Even if I am completely wrong, which is possible, it doesn’t hurt to take fish oil supplements.

chicadelplaya's avatar

Hormonal changes? Drinking alcohol lately? These do it do me every time.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Hormonal changes or needing salt are the usual causes for my craving junk food. That or being stoned. :P

nebule's avatar

Time of the month…I’ve been like this for the past week… but I also blame mine on my mum and dad being away on holiday and me needing comfort food, being sick of dieting (as I’ve been doing it now for 15 weeks and bored bored bored) and it’s also half term week…all I can think about is food… but I’m also doing a lot of exercise too…. who knows.. it’s a minefield trying to work out one’s body!! x Hope you work it out… if you do let us know!! xxx

Incidentally does anyone know how one would be able to tell if it was hormonal (in terms of just the time of the month) without doing any scientific tests as such… Is there a way?

Darwin's avatar

My suggestion of Pica was sort of a joke, since it is described as a medical disorder characterized by an appetite for substances largely non-nutritive. In my opinion this describes quite a lot of fast food, unless you consider high-fructose corn syrup an essential nutrient.

Both MacDonald’s and Coca Cola are major consumers of high fructose corn syrup.

MissAnthrope's avatar

With McDonald’s, once you eat it, you can get into a cyclic sugar addiction pattern.. Just about everything on the menu has sugar in it, so you’re getting loads of that with all your salt. Actually, that holds true for lots of junk food, because everything has high fructose corn syrup in it. When your sugar levels dip, you crave a fix. just a thought.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Darwin A friend of mine actually has Pica. It is so interesting.

StephK's avatar

Well, I already take omega-3 fish oil supplements (because I like them, not because I’m directed to take them) – any other fats I might be missing?

I doubt it’s a time of month thing because this doesn’t usually happen. ...This really is turning into a mystery.

@skfinkel : I’m a Stephanie, so it’s possible via immaculate conception.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@StephK No those are the only “good” fats. I am inclined now to say that it is a reflection of your mood or it is a cycle that you started when you were in a poor mood but has not got out of control.

StephK's avatar

Alright, well thanks for the feedback, everyone. I’ll update if there are any major changes

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