Are you someone who doesn’t care much about bread and potatoes unless they are drenched in butter or cheese? Do you crave cheese, chips, fries, ice cream or popcorn loaded with butter? If you like sweets at all, do you only lose control with peanut butter cups or ice cream? In this blog, you will discover why.
Ancestry, Food, and Cravings
Many of us are from Northern European ancestry that includes some of our Scandinavian forebears. I’m one-quarter Norwegian and one-quarter Irish, so I fit this description. The cold climates of northern Europe dictated that you eat a higher fat diet to stay warm. Their version of a high-fat diet was fat from homemade cheeses, raw dairy, fatty fish and animal fats. Fast forward to this century and our version is ice cream, chips, cheese and fries, and peanut butter cups!
Ironically, many people who overeat fatty foods today are deficient in healthy fats. Like many Americans, you are undoubtedly taking in far too many fragile and over-processed vegetable oils and not enough of the traditional fats that kept us so healthy and weight-perfect up until the 1970s.
For millions of years, we ate saturated fats from butter, nuts, seeds, fatty fish and wild meats with the skin on. We also ate the “whole grain” as we moved into more agriculturally driven foods. These whole grains are loaded with healthy fats (think wheat germ oil).
Usually, fat lovers are also carbohydrate lovers, stuck craving the carb/fat foods such as donuts, pastries, cookies, cakes, ice cream, and creamy sauces. These are the ultimate addicting foods! You get the sugar rush along with the satiation of the fats.
It turns out…
It turns out that fats are fascinating and complex as well as essential to our health and well-being. There are many kinds of fats (or fatty acids), each fulfilling a special need in the body. Take butter as an example, butter contains at least five hundred different fatty elements. The many types of fat in grass-fed beef include vitamin D and both the essential omega-3 and omega-6 fats.
Hundreds of studies have shown us the extraordinary benefits of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats. Every cell in our body is depended on these fats to keep the cell wall structure functioning properly. Most importantly for “fat cravers” you want to keep your ratio’s 1:1, not 25:1 (25% Omega 6/1% Omega 3) which is the average American fat profile.
Your body has wisdom, it picks up the “bad fats” from the fried and processed foods and incorporates these into the cell membrane, but if you start to add in the healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats, it displaces those bad fats with the good ones! When you “crave fat” your body is really telling you, give me some of the good stuff!!
The Other Causes of Fat Cravings
Fat consumption triggers the pleasure response in the brain, a release of endorphins, our natural pain killers. This built-in pleasure response to fatty foods has been used to addict us to commercial foods that are carefully combining poor quality fats, sweets and starches with salt in an irresistible combination.
Another factor may be that you don’t digest fats well because you have a congested liver and/or gallbladder (or no gallbladder). Do you crave fat but when you eat it you feel overly full, heavy or nauseous? Removing the bad fats from the diet is a good start but as you add in the healthy fats you may need a little digestive enzyme support.
The primary enzyme for fat digestion is Lipase. Lipase breaks fats down so your body can use them. So does bile, a powerful acid made by the liver and stored in the gallbladder. Supplementing with bile salts can help your stomach digest fats and can help prevent a fat-soluble vitamin deficiency. Choline supplementation after gallbladder removal surgery helps support the natural digestion of dietary fats and can work well in combination with bile salts to help prevent excessive gas and bloating.
Another rarely discussed cause of fat cravings is microbial parasites. These tiny invaders can increase your appetite for fatty foods. These parasites can invade the liver and gallbladder and increase your desire to eat fats. If after correcting your fat consumption ratio to 1:1, raising your endorphin levels naturally and taking digestive enzymes you still crave fat, you may want to do a parasite cleanse.
Raising Your Natural Pleasure Chemicals in the Brain
Addressing the underlying chemical need of the brain oftentimes kicks the food cravings for fat right out the window. Your brain runs on neurotransmitters and those neurotransmitters are made from amino acids (proteins). Whether it’s from a genetic defect or that we have become addicted to the pleasure of fats, our brains are starving for the raw materials to make your natural pleasure chemical.
Which amino acid can free a food junkie? D-phenylalanine is the single most helpful amino acid for building up optimal amounts of our natural pain killers, endorphins.
Most supplement formulations combine D-phenylalanine with equal amounts of L-phenylalanine, its mildly stimulating twin. The combinations is called DPLA and usually works well, especially if energy is needed. If DPLA makes you too stimulated, then look for the D-form and take this alone. You will also need to consume a higher protein, healthy fat and low carb diet for the best results.
Exercise will also raise endorphins! Have you heard of the “runners high?” This is a release of endorphins into the body that gives that euphoric feeling as well as creating energy in the body. Bottom line, eating higher protein meals with healthy fats and lower carbs along with exercise can increase your natural pleasure chemicals and help you kick the fat cravings.
These are the top tips to stop your junk food cravings.
- Create a 1:1 ratio of Omega-3’s to Omega-6 fats in the diet by eating wild fatty fish, grass-fed beef, grass-fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, and seeds.
- Greatly reduce or eliminate chips, fried carbohydrates, carb/fat combo foods and packaged foods with partially-hydrogenated fats.
- Add in an Omega-fish oil supplement, 2000mg daily.
- Support liver and gallbladder function while introducing healthy fats into the diet. Try digestive enzymes such as Lipase with fatty foods. If you have no gallbladder try adding in bile salts and choline to help with fat digestion.
- Increase your natural pleasure chemicals, endorphins by aerobic exercise
- Increase your natural pleasure chemicals, endorphins by adding in DL-phenylalanine. Start with 1,000mgs, 1-2 times a day, on an empty stomach, take no later than 3 pm. WARNING! If you experience rapid heart rate, elevated blood pressure or hyperactivity discontinue immediately.
- If all these fail to kick your fat cravings look into doing a parasite cleanse.
Keep the pleasure while ditching the cravings!!
To your health,