Listening to Cravings
We’ve all had them–the sudden desire for carbohydrates, sweets, fat, or all three. This can be especially difficult when starting out on The Blood Type Diet and introducing new foods to the body. Sometimes, our cravings are messages from the brain that we need a balancing food source for a nutrient–other times, the body’s cries for healthy foods may be misinterpreted as a craving for something else. Learning to listen to our cravings, and separate the psychological cravings from genuine physiological messages from the body is the key to overcoming our cravings.
First, Don’t Get Hungry
It seems obvious, but it’s surprising how many times we can catch ourselves waiting too long between meals. A drop in blood sugar can trigger a cascade of mood changes, fatigue, and cravings, often for carbohydrates. Next time you feel tired, irritable, or can’t concentrate, ask yourself first, “Have I eaten protein or fat ‘right for me’ within the past two hours?” Chances are you’re hungry–keep healthy snacks close by.
- Eat smaller, regular meals. Hunger leads to heightened susceptibility to those taste-bud programmed messages as you pass Starbucks: “I must have a triple latte with a scoop of ice cream.”
- Instead, enjoy a slow-uptake sweetened, high protein snack bar like Dr. D’Adamo’s UniBars. More healthy snack options Right for Your Type are suggested below.
When Signals Get Crossed
Many food cravings are triggered by a psychological response to stress or hunger—we crave comfort food or those aromas or taste sensations that temporarily quiet the trigger. Often, cravings may be signals from the body that we need balancing foods–signals that are frequently interrupted by the static of our taste buds or these emotional triggers.
For example, if you crave ice cream (unless you’re Type B), this may be a signal that your body requires a good source of fat for clean energy fuel.
- Help your body re-interpret its signals. Add Flaxseed oil to a quick Right 4 Your Type Protein shake with fruit as a quick in-between meal snack. Add Olive or Flaxseed oil to your salad dressing for lunch.
- Olive Oil is beneficial for all types; Flaxseed oil is beneficial for Types O and A, and neutral for Types B and AB.
Other potential fat-satiating snack foods:
- Cottage Cheese: is Beneficial for Types B and AB, an Avoid for Types O and A.
- Slice of Mozzarella cheese: Beneficial for Types B and AB, Neutral for Types O and A. (String Cheese, on the other hand, is an Avoid for all Types.)
Sip Some Tea
Sometimes, cravings mask thirst. If you’ve eaten regular meals and snacks, and still crave food, try a glass of water before snacking. Or consider brewing a cup of Sip Right Tea.
Get Plenty of Protein — Early and Often
All Blood Types have a biological need for quality protein—just from different sources. If you find your energy fading well before lunch, consider beginning the day with a protein source at breakfast. Both proteins and fats provide a steady energy source for the body
- All Types can enjoy a quick protein snack anytime with Dr. D’Adamo’s UniBars or R4YT Protein Blend powders.
- Type O: Try a small handful of pumpkin seeds or walnuts as a Beneficial snack; or a hard-boiled egg or nut butters – a Neutral snack.
- Type A: Nuts and seeds are a great source of snack protein for Type A. Peanuts or peanut butter are Beneficial, as are Flaxseeds and walnuts. Vegetable proteins like fava or black beans and soy products provide an endless source of quality protein.
- Type B: Enjoy selected dairy protein snacks, Beneficial for Type B.
- Type AB: Try a slice of highly beneficial turkey, perhaps with a slice of Mozzarella. Or enjoy a light snack of walnuts, peanuts, or peanut butter.
When Cravings are Messages from the Brain
Dr. D’Adamo writes about a unique resource for Type O experiencing carbohydrate cravings. “I’ve found that the use of the amino acid glutamine can help offset these feelings until the O diet begins to help up-regulate dopamine levels.
“In the brain, glutamine is converted to glutamic acid, the only alternate source of glucose available to the brain. It provides a ready source of brain fuel for hypoglycemics and helps stave off sugar cravings and hypoglycemic symptoms that develop when blood-sugar levels drop too low.
“Glutamine is an important source of energy for the nervous system. If the brain is not receiving enough glucose, it compensates by increasing glutamine metabolism for energy-hence the popular perception of glutamine as “brain food” and its use as a pick-me-up. Glutamine users often report more energy, less fatigue and better mood.
“Glutamine is plentiful in both animal and plant protein. The typical American diet provides between 3.5 g and 7 g of glutamine; more is synthesized according to need. Even so, heavy stress, such as strenuous exercise, infectious disease, surgery, burn injury or other acute trauma leads to glutamine depletion with consequent immune dysfunction, intestinal problems and muscle wasting. Consequently, it has been proposed that glutamine should be classified as a “conditionally essential amino acid.”
“Typically, a useful dose is 500-750mg in powder or capsules between meals for a week or two. By the way, glutamine (unlike most amino acids) is rather pleasant tasting, with a slightly sweetish flavor.”
Image: Jan Toorop, ‘The Desire and the Satisfaction’ (1893)
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