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How to Deal with Cravings about High Cholesterol Food
- Food cravings are more complicated than you might think – they stem from our genetic past and the way our mind works
- Exercise to forget about the craving and to release good feeling endorphins
- Treat yourself in moderation
- Find alternatives for unhealthy food “rewards”
At one time or another, most of us have had a desire for high cholesterol food. Maybe that food was just a juicy hamburger or maybe a delicious omelet smothered in cheese with a side order of greasy bacon. We know those foods are definitely part of a diet to lower cholesterol but how do we fight back against those powerful cravings that threaten to derail all of our healthy efforts? Here are a few ideas.
Understanding Why We Crave
Have you ever wondered why no one seems to crave carrots or other healthy foods? Is it just because they aren’t off-limits or is there more at work here? Well, research shows there are several good reasons to look deeper into why we so often want high cholesterol foods which also happen to be high in fats and sugars.
For one, it’s evolution. Early humans needed fats and sugars to live but they weren’t abundant for hunters and gatherers. When they did come across something high in fat or sugar, they probably relished it and wanted it again to fulfill the needs of their bodies. Our brain is the same brain in most respects that those early humans possessed so we still want those things but because we can keep them so readily and tend to overindulge they’ve been bad for us.
Also, neuroscience has showed through brain images that our cravings are connected to the part of our brain associated with pleasurable rewards. That means if you’ve programmed yourself to see that sausage biscuit as something that gives you pleasure then chances are you’re going to have cravings for it in the future.
Fighting Back Against Food Cravings
There are a few ways you can combat those high cholesterol food cravings. When you feel the need to eat something you shouldn’t, exercise. The workout will release endorphins into your body that will help give you that pleasure you wanted from the food but in a much healthier way. Plus, getting out of the house and distracting your mind from those visions of tantalizing high in saturated fats foods.
Another method is to give in but just a little and only occasionally. You have to be realistic on any diet. And it’s not practical to forbid yourself from ever eating high cholesterol foods again. The trick is to learn moderation and impulse control. Instead of driving to McDonald’s and ordering a Big Mac, you could walk or ride your bike to the nearest location and order a hamburger. Or allow yourself to have one bad for you food each week. Just remember to be good with your cholesterol monitoring the rest of the time and be extra watchful on that day.
Find new ways to reward yourself. Many of us grew up viewing delicious food as a type of reward. If dad got a promotion, the family went to a nice steak dinner to celebrate. If the whole family got together for a celebration, there was a huge meal involved. One key in bringing down cholesterol is finding new, healthier alternatives.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
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