Foodie Facts: What Your Cravings Are Really Telling You

Foodie Facts: What Your Cravings Are Really Telling You

I’ve always heard that craving salty or sweet foods can actually be your body’s way of telling you it needs something. The other day, I had a serious sweet tooth and before I knew it I found myself researching what my craving really meant. What I discovered was that there is a pretty surprising list of cravings and their real meanings. It’s fascinating! It is also very helpful to see what your body really needs (hint: it’s not actually those French fries).

Find out about your body’s true cravings below…

What It Means If You're Craving Sugar
If you’re craving sweets…
It means your body really needs chromium, carbon phosphorous, sulfur, and tryptophan. Get these by filling up on, fresh fruit, cheese and sweet potatoes when you have a sweet tooth. This craving may also mean you’re tired, according to Evaluate how much you’re sleeping lately if you find yourself wanting sweets. Instead of heading for the chocolate cake, take a nap if you can. Or, go for a walk to boost your energy levels.

What It Means If You're Craving Carbs
If you’re craving carbs…
It means your body needs nitrogen, which is found in high-protein foods like fish, meat, nuts, and beans. Eat a turkey burger, a handful of almonds, or a black bean burrito bowl (black beans, corn, pico de gallo, guacamole and brown rice). You might also be craving carbs because you’re trying to cut them out of you diet completely. If this is the reason, make sure you’re eating every food group in moderation to prevent a big, unplanned carb-fest that will leave you feeling way worse than, say, an open-faced sandwich.

What It Means If You're Craving Pizza
If you’re craving French fries, soda, and pizza…
And other junk food, it means your body needs calcium. Instead, fix a kale salad with steamed broccoli, chicken, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese (um, yum.). It might not sound quite as good as those French fries at first, but it will leave you feeling way better, not to mention guilt-free.

What It Means If You're Craving Caffeine
If you’re craving caffeine…
It means your body needs salt and iron. To get these nutrients the healthy way, eat lean meats like chicken or turkey, eggs, or black cherries, surprisingly. If you can, a great option here would be to make an omelet with turkey and veggies, with a handful of black cherries on the side. Craving caffeine can also mean you’re actually just really thirsty or dehydrated, according to Huffington Post. Drink an entire glass of water before you reach for that second (or third) cup of coffee—you might realize you don’t even need it.

What It Means If You're Craving Salty Foods
If you’re craving salty foods…
It means your body needs chloride, which is essential in order for your body to maintain healthy digestion and keep your electrolyte levels in check, according to Nutritional Wellness. Avoid super salty junk food like potato chips and eat goat’s milk yogurt or fish instead. I would recommend making a tuna fish sandwich or salmon salad for lunch with goat’s yogurt as a snack the next time you have a salt craving.
I hope you all learn something new and interesting from these foodie facts. I sure did. I’m definitely going to keep some almonds on hand for those pesky carb cravings…

What foods do you crave the most?

Leave your list below! And if you’ve found any cures for unhealthy cravings, leave your tips below too.

XO Lauren

Photos: Natasha Poly for Terry Richardson, We Heart It, Immaculate Bites, Smells Like Home, Big Design Loves, babble
Sources:, Nutritional Wellness, Huffington Pos
Categories: Get Fit, Health
Share This
  • Ashley Rizzardo

    It’s nice to know what my body is really craving when I have those salty cravings. I will definitely have to remember this! Great post!


  • Stefie

    This is so interesting! my biggest cravings are pizza and chocolate!

  • Katelin Absher

    I am a woman!! What foods don’t I crave!!

  • Ashley

    I have heard this all before but have never really taken to heart. I’m generally pretty good about fighting off cravings or giving in just a bit. This is definitely good info to reinforce and actually put into practice. With that said, I’m still going to have a cup of coffee each morning! :)

  • laurenWKK793

    Ah these pics of pizza and bread are not helping haha! Those cravings are the worst!

  • Emma Acomb

    Amazing tips! Thx!

  • Nic

    Drink 2 glasses of water and you will be full enough to say goodbye to any bad cravings.

  • OpheliaEvern

    Great tips, thanks! So interesting too!
    Danielle xo

  • Kristen Mulvihill

    2 of 5: ***your diet …. eeeep I had to I am an edit freak

  • Chelseaness

    I started doing this tabatas workout every morning and every evening 2 weeks ago and I noticed my cravings for sweets have gone down (which is huge for me since I have an entire sweet body instead of just a sweet tooth). I don’t know if that has anything to do with it but I’m feeling better!

  • suzanne

    I didn’t know this! How interesting :)
    Suzanne from

  • Mal S.

    That kale salad suggestion sounds amazing, but I heard that steaming veggies takes all of the nutritional value out of them- is this true?!

  • Mahusle

    I’m just carving for carbs! Thanks for the advice 😀

  • Mahusle

    I’m just craving for carbs! Thanks for the advice 😀

  • Rachel

    really handy post!xx

  • Ashley at Sincerely Miss Ash

    This post was definitely interesting and educational.. I crave sweets more than anything else!


  • Ana Sofia

    I don’t know this :) great post. It will be very usefull.


  • mallorie

    Food for thought: tuna is probably worse for you than pizza. Tuna is so bad that it is recommended for women to only eat tuna once a year, men every six months, and women expecting and or planning on becoming pregnant should avoid it all together. Tuna has high levels of mercury because they are at the top of the food chain so to speak, this has the potential to cause serious illness or mercury contamination. Yes tuna on a bed of greens has less calories, fat and sodium, but the long term effects may be just as bad as years of greasy fast foods.

  • Dana Ivy

    Very interesting! Thanks for sharing =)

    Dana Ivy – Check out my blog!

  • Linn

    Thanks for sharing. Today at work I really wanted some cookies, but then I remembered this post and said to myself “”No you actually don’t want sweets but you are in need of chromium…”” and the graving was gone. Thanks Lauren!! Hope to get a bikini proof body some day :)


    Shop the world’s cutest dresses @!

  • Taanjaa

    I always crave salt in the summer, I really think that it has something to do with how hot you feel and all the water you are drinking!

  • Kristina Bohn

    what if you are craving meat?

  • Cassie Autumn

    I crave whole grains but they r still carbs :(

  • Tarryn pitts

    Verrry interesting. Never thought of looking up my cravings and seeing what they mean!! Very smart thing to do!!

  • nrsmeg17

    Steaming is better than boiling. You just don’t want to make any veggies mushy no matter how you cook them!!


    I crave sweets and carbs! Raisin and cinnamon bread, ice cream! Can’t stay away from them!

  • alma rivera

    Omgggggg I just cant help it my one and only crave r chips but now I know what is that my bod needs

  • Ashley burke

    I ALWAYS have had a sweet tooth and crave anything chocolaty!

  • Mia Cole

    So glad I found this article! Now I can find healthy subs for my daily cravings xx

  • Jasmine

    Sweet foods like candies and chocolates are really craving but always remember that everything’s too much is bad. Learn more concerning the truth about sweets.

  • EMILY eich

    Showing the pictures of the food isn’t exactly helping me here…

    • Ashley Marfori Lutton

      I know, now I want pizza.

  • eva kalenska

    i crave all those foods often 😐 so maybe a good multivitamin should solve the problem ha

  • Emily

    Yay, now I know how to deal with my salt cravings (:

  • kitty

    this makes a lot of sense… i crave sweets all the time though… i could eat cookies til the cows come home…

    coconut chocolate nut cookies… there called almond joy cookies… one i know i’m tired.. and two i could get some chromium… now i know why my friend just went and got some… sure would’ve been nice if she would of shared that…

  • deli

    i crave chips and sour cream and salsa all the time! i have found that greek yogurt- which i love- is actually a really good substitute for it, in general. so now, when i crave those chips and sour cream i grab a tablespoon of some greek yogurt with a mixture of toppings; either a drop of honey and some cinnamon or maybe some berries or melon.

    when i want a more salsa-y option i go for a tablespoon of cottage cheese, once slice of a tomato chopped up and some fresh cracked pepper. DELICIOUS.

  • Karen Philip

    I drink SPARK early morning in place of my hot cup of tea! I have found that I have no cravings for Tea anymore and my cravings for sugar has gone away too,, therefore the side effects are = weight loss, long lasting focus & Energy too during the day. My husband & I take Rehydrate too which is a Electrolyte Replacement drink and he has found that he has not got any headaches and lost 10 lbs .
    SPARK is known to help kids with ADHD etc , doctors & teachers are finding out that their focus has improved as well as their grades have improved too. Great product.

    Karen Philip

  • Courtneyisms

    I enjoyed this article, it sparked my curiosity. I started researching your sources and found that the Shape article and the Huffington Post article give the same information and quote the same doctor. Nutritional Wellness, gave me insight on why our body needs these mineral, the daily dose and what foods contain them. I cannot find the link between the cravings and mineral deficiencies. Where did you get this information?

  • Gwynspiration

    Thanks for having this blog post. I linked your blog post with my blog post about is fast food healthy that can be found at

  • Monica Wagner

    Fascinating what language your body uses to engage with you and tell you what’s-up or down. Unfortunately, we live in a rush and crash culture were most people take little time if any at all to check in with themselves (below skin surface). And here is the choice, snacking or binding on hybridized, chemicalized, deep fried, plastic leaching, blood infused dirt or living a life of awareness, vibrant health, presence and grace. Going the ‘dirty way’ might seem easier, fun and even acceptable but that’s a narrow minded and short term outlook on life.

    Take the right steps to Eat Yourself Sexy.Smart.Successful.

    • Samantha Brown

      I think it’s so important to fuel your body with the right foods but I definitely get cravings every now and again! I used to always have sugar cravings (and sometimes get really bad salt ones) but I found that if I resist my sugar cravings for about 1 week (so hard sometimes) the craving almost completely goes.

      I still have sugary things every now and again but only eat the things I LOVE and only have a small amount.

      Sam xx – how to make the most of your twenties

  • Edie Essex Barrett

    How do i view the slideshow on the article? I can’t see it anywhere and so i can’t fully read this entry. Thanks!

  • Marlene

    Where is the slide show? I don’t see it on your page. I really would like to know this information. Thanks for your help.

  • Gamer

    I can’t find the slideshow. Please help.

  • Mary

    Where is the slideshow

  • Ashley Marfori Lutton

    So my body needs everything!

  • Raven Locks

    Something you guys should have added to this list is…chocolate cravings!

    If you get chocolate cravings (which most women I know do), it means you’re deficient in magnesium. You can get magnesium by deep leafy greens like Kale, nuts, seeds, and dairy products.

    xo Azu

  • Sherry Osborne

    I always want chips, it’s my biggest craving. I’ll have to get some cans of tuna to keep in my pantry for those times!

  • Amadee May

    I have a really bad sleeping pattern so I’m always craving sugar. This helps, good tips :)

  • BillyAnd Barbi

    I crave meat. All the time. Medium rare steak or beef/pork jerkey, stew junks. idc i just need it lol

  • Amy Goh

    This information is the one I’ve always wondered!!! Amazing information! Now I know what I need to get really instead I crave and have sth which I shouldn’t. Thanks!!!

  • meg

    most of your alternatives are animal products. thats disgusting.

    • Breanne

      Not true. You’re being over-reactive in your anti-animals-as-food stance. I read back through and counted every item suggested. It was almost even animal product:non-animal product. Your self-righteousness is what’s disgusting. Enjoy your iron and chloride deficiency.

  • Valentina Arama

    I was a big sweet tooth for a long time, I could eat all day long only sweets and it seemed normal to me..but than I found my self in huge trouble. Than I realized that I have to do smt with it.
    I started having fresh juice in the mornings and a full cup with half squeezed lemon and water. After all during lunch time I tried to fill in my stomach first with lots of salad and than eating something with fiber, which made ma reduce chocolate eating dreams…and after all to cut it off completely from my food.
    Of course, once a sweet tooth – will always be one. So, now I am just addicted to raw truffles (banana, dates, organic cacao nibs, cashews and cranberries, coconut) , yummyleacious peanut butter with some crackers…. than youøøl ask for a chocolate bar?? never again… and you better eat two bananas in a row and not feeling guilty than one chocolate…

  • kms

    Recently I could not get enough ice I was chewing ice every day all day long …. I found out that my iron was extremely low and now that they have that taken care of I don’t crave ice anymore… :) My teeth were taking a beating..

  • Linda Taylor

    Dear Lauren, I crave carbs and sugar real bad and IM sick because of it I have lupus sle and pancreatic and no Dr can help me and my whole body is just loaded with inflammation and I believe the dr that changed out my implants and he scraped all my chest and had to remove all mu breast tissue and muscle so u see and my cup size was a D and now its a C cup, I have a lot of trouble can and Im scared, Can you help me thank you

  • Joanne Zepeda

    Chicken tenders, these are my greatest weakness. It can also be an easy fast food, so laziness my be the reason as well. I try to by chicken tenders and grill them instead with large rings of onions all on the grill. I will also throw some fruit on on the grill, like pineapple and strawberries (just for a little).

    • Joanne

      Buy $$

  • 2ndbbonboard!

    Is it the same meaning if you are pregnant?

  • adubs

    ok c’monnnn..a girl’s craving chocolate “take a walk instead” yeah right, honey. Mama’s walking herself right to the grocery store. If any of you ladies actually would take one of those suggestions when your craving chocolate, post below so I can be sure this breed of women actually exists in real life

    • WANN


      • Leeanna Henson

        Yum soda! And Starbucks also for me. Yum!

    • Mary

      It’s perfectly possible to say no to your cravings. I hate your implication that because I have a vagina, I have no impulse control.

    • Jacs

      For the last 3 mornings I’ve woken up craving chocolate, and with it being right at my finger tips after all the Christmas gifts from my students it’s made it even harder to resist my craving. Since I read this though I held out got my walking shoes on and went for a brisk 2km walk. Surprisingly the craving went and I was left feeling much more energised than I did before the craving and feel better for it! And I looooove chocolate! So yes, we are out there and we do exist! 😉

      • Leeanna Henson

        Yeah chocolate. I’m female and officially I’m allergic. Yikes! Lol. I used to eat it and would always get these severe migraines and what comes with them. So I had to go to the allergist doctor for a bunch of stuff and what do you know. Allergic to pretty much a bunch of yummy stuff. Most meats dairy wheat and on and on. But right now all I am craving is bloody rare steak. I know I’m deficient on something. Because it is always a craving of bloody rare steak. Man.

    • MTSites

      ?! Is no one fascinated by this awesome article?! For heavens sake, this is the kind of article that separates the Whiners from the Helga’s (Viking Warrior). Written in my notes: “Those who refer to eating animals as disgusting, you simply don’t know how much you hurt a screaming tomato. Whoever said a tomato screams when you eat it, dump the researchers manipulative opinions, the reaction is not something we can perfectly interpret. Survival is a sacrificial thing, and as humans, we too, do our share of sacrifice, if we are good human beings. Will it help to remind the world that after the resurrection there will be no more carnivores?–not even will the lion want to eat a lamb. But as mortals, there is a real purpose, due to mortality, as to why we need meat now (in moderation, not on a gluttonous, disregarding level). In one way it’s “dusgusting” to take a heart from the dead and put it into another living being…Or, IS it?. Animals I believe, have been instilled will what their purpose is here, because God leaves nothing indone, so I guess they know when compassion and ingratitude and gluttony are present as well, as Miss Templeton demonstrated. We don’t understand everything here, but we can upgrade our attitudes. We are not immortal now, but it wouldn’t hurt for all of us to eat a whole lot more whole plant foods. Example, we cannot get stem cells without glyconutrients, and those come mostly in plants, , even though a few also come in animal products, like dairy foods…Believe it or not, N-acetylglucosamine is essential–we must eat in in order to have correct immunity, and it comes in cartilage–even being used for cancer treatment, but it also comes in plants: shiitake mushrooms and cherries, etc. As far as cravings, this article is great, I have seen others like it. For instance, if you are chewing on ice as a driven habit, you may be iron deficient, a critical pregnancy tip. When it comes to chocolate, you may be deficient in magnesium, vitamin B6, lithium orate, and/or raising your own cortisol by choosing a negative outlook, creating unnecessary agitation through procrastination, choosing helplessness, dealing with disorder(s) not in your control, or not resolving an issue, such as abuse, enablement or codependency (addiction) or living under oppression (socialism), where codependency is coerced upon you, depriving you of healthy freedom. Magnesium defiency is present in almost everyone now, as there is only 10% in our soils compared to 100 years ago. There is more magnesium in chocolate than broccoli! I take absorbable magnesium 3 X’s a day, B6 and SamE, and no longer suffer anxiety. Two prescriptions caused B6 deficiency, the Pill, and INH. Beware of medication-causing deficiencies, I suffered 30+ years and had a child born with permanent damage due to B6 (pyridoxine) deficiency, and now he lives with it for life, including constant throwing up. Deficiencies can be devastating.”-MTSites

      • Morelee

        yes, Thank you.This is a very helpful article.

      • Leeanna Henson

        Good read. Thank you. 😀

  • JonCoKY

    If you are craving fish, you are a penguin.

  • The Single Diaries

    This is fantastic! A great way to think about cravings, instead of trying to quash them by skipping food/snacks completely.


  • Rosvitha Pakoci

    I always crave for chocolate and pecan cake :-) Pizza can come too!

  • Xin

    haha out of all, i crave carbs the most…. sadly :p

  • beatriz

    I’m not a fan of almonds… Any other suggestions besides almonds as an easy snack?

  • Kyra

    Ive been craving salad like crazy for 6 months now and refuse other foods I used to like dunno why!

  • fran1

    Hi Linda Taylor you might want to start looking at Bryon Richards he is a nutritionist and wrote a book on Leptin reset. He has a website and talks a lot about anti inflammatory foods. Dr. Periccone is another good source. Anyway, they would be a place to start.

  • Lauren

    I always crave mozzarella sticks! The other day I was craving them but ended up just eating a bowl of fruit because I didn’t want to cheat. But yesterday I caved. I needed them so bad. I always have a craving for them. But I don’t eat anything with gluten or dairy so that is probably why I want them all of the time.

  • deliciousalex

    Love that more people are talking about cravings! My health coaching clients call me the “Cravings Whisperer”…keep it up!

  • Justine

    Hey I’m French so I’m sorry for my bad english ^^
    But I already know what those cravings mean…
    In fact i did a lot of researches on that subject..
    I had a big big big sweet tooth, and I eat a lot of vegetables and fruits but I knew that fruits contains a lot of sugar so I tried to limited my consummation of fruits…and those cravings appaered more…
    Now I just eat fruits as much as I feel I want to.. and I don’t have ( not at all hun !) but I don’t have sweets cravings like before…
    I do have cravings of carbs and salt or fats sometimes… but I notice that it happens when I triy to limit myself … So if you just give your body what he needs, but really needs, in adequate quantity, well you won’t have real cravings..( I’m not talking about greeds or other ^^ but that’s human too !) Food is one of life pleasures !)
    It’s hard to apply because everyone around you is talking about diet and weight loss..( and I try to do my best on it but it takes time to reconnect with your body). but just listen to your body and respect him…
    Well, I’m sorry for that long message… I hope it would help someone.
    Thank you for this post and by the way I love reading you.
    Justine :)

    • MTSites

      My post was toO long (above), but at least this fits on one paper, and not a whole book. “This is a sensitive area for me, since having cancer and fibromyalgia, etc. I just wanted to say that in the course of healing, I was lead to “essential” glyconutrients, which MIT called “the missing food group”, and indeed it is. We crave excess carbs if we are not getting all eight of these in our diets. Glyconutrients are virtually the ONLY foods that can make our stem cells, and our stem cells are our immunity. One of them (glucose) can make the rest, abeit, inneffeciently. But if we get all eight, cravings for sugar-type: glucose, calms right down. Interestingly, two of them, *glucose and *galactose are caloric and capable of storing fat, however 6 of them are *not caloric and CANNOT store fat, so include those, and cravings calm, the reason being, now glucose doesn’t think it has to create all the ones you didn’t eat. These glycos are listed in the back of the PDR, but do you think you think your doctor knows about them? No! Because they are not trained about them: thry cannot make money on “stem cell research” and “storing umbilical cords”, etc.! This would ruin the multi-billion$ cancer treatment machine”. You see, around the 1900’s cancers were treated with 100% success using the essential glyconutrients. That does not make the drug or medical industry happy, so they down play their value. But know this, they use them in cancer treatment by turning them into a drug form, such as “mannose” to “mannitol”. Surprise! Is it as successful! Well, it’s no longer whole. But it proves they know about mannose’s great value. Search: “drugs containing mannitol” may find that they have audaciously listed it under the INactive ingredients, HAHA! Search for your own benefit: “foods containing the eight essential glyconutrients”, and eat from all eight lists. HOW ESSENTIAL GLYCOS WORK: The glycos stick to the outside of your cells. The cells “read” each other braille-style by bumping into each other. Each glyco is like a letter in the alphabet. If all glycosare present, they communicate a perfect ‘message’ to the hypothalamus (the body Boss, Delegator, and Master Metabolism) of what in your body needs repair, restoration or eliminating, attending to some 200+ body needs. If one or more ‘letters’ or glycos is MISSING, mis-messaging occurs, and wrong directives happen, especially autoimmunity, a condition where the hypothalamus cannot stop sending the wrong message. But adding the missing glycos, it can stop. This is why glycos are so efficient at reversing autoimmune diseases.
      After glycos are all in place, then they efficiently can use all the other nutrients you eat. If you feed your hypothalamus, you can inch your way back to better health. As I have learned, this takes constancy and patience. But yet stem cells do work fast, for instance, I am off of 7 prescriptions they told me I’d need for life. I am a 10 year cancer survivor this month, 2005-2015, and I no longer have COPD (which I got from a 3-1/2week binge on aspartame, as I have never smoked!..PS, aspartame causes craving you’ve never had before…That binge caused a first-time thyroid drop and damaged vision that month, too, all instant.) Take care, we have amazing bodies if we assist them.”

  • Justine

    I also forgot to say that when I’m craving bad food, I just imagine how i would feel after eating that… would i feel better ?
    Do I want to feed my body with those bad stuffs ? No …
    I also look at some pictures of fresh fruits salads..or health food and I ” feel better” cause I know i would have the same for dinner or snack..
    You can drink water too, because sometimes people think they are hungry but they are just thirsty. However, if you’re really hungry, just eat ( good stuffs), don’t restrict yourself, it would cause some damages…

  • Choccy

    Craving sugar really bad… had a Mounds bar and it gave me an instant headache… Second week of all fruit/veg diet (well, ok… a Mounds bar is not a veg or fruit, lol. I paid for it with a headache). Just ate some almonds and going to have a big glass of water.

    I think I’m discovering that I have to go “cold turkey” when it comes to candy, cake, cookies, etc. 😐

  • Jennyyy

    I crave chips all day everyday, anything salty will do. Usually I give in >.< but I don't know what else to do!! I do eat fish a few times a week but I'm still craving. I could care less about sweets. This all changed a few years ago. Went from being a chocolate girl to a chip girl. It'd be interesting to know why

    • Rebecca

      I am exactly the same! Had to eat a chocolate bar every day for years, then It suddenly switched and I just can’t get enough chips. It so frustrates me as I deep down I know my true favourite foods are much more nutritious, but I just can’t seem to stop my chip cravings. It’s all or nothing for me :(

  • Gael Brady

    What happens when you crave peanut butter…and then eat almost the entire jar?

  • myilanna jones

    i usually crave sweets and hardly ever eat chips but lately I have been wanting potato chips lol

  • Jennifer

    Tortilla chips and all types of beans but mostly black beans

  • Andrea

    Lately I’ve been craving guacamole with cilantro, onion, tomato and garlic. I’m also craving hummus with garlic. Why is this?

  • Bethany

    Every think I’m craving is chocolate and none of these pictures are helping me either

    • Loren

      = In need of Magnesium eat

      Raw nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits.

  • molly

    salt! chips, chips, chips and its not all chips either. Doritos, tortillas or kettle are my guilty pleasure.

  • Divyesh Doshi

    I’m craving Lay’s, A double pattie cheese burger and a Cheese Crust Pizza

  • Melinda

    I crave salt constantly, and I mean constantly; someone mentioned to me that it may be more than a need for chloride. What are your thoughts on sodium deficiency?

  • Raquel Joseph

    I always crave fast food

  • Sara Alicea

    If you’re craving everything now, you just read this post.

  • john37

    Air Popped Popcorn is pretty good and only has about 30 calories per cup. You can use a little bit of olive oil and salt for flavor



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