There is some science behind this question, do you have a cheese addiction? Here is the first part:
…You have milk-derived opioid receptors in your brain, and casein contains natural opioids called casomorphins.15 (This is why you can become “addicted” to dairy products like milk and cheese.)…Dr Mercola, full text casein and whey
That makes sense as from birth we would need to desire mothers’ milk. Some of our eating habits come from a need or feeling of comfort.
When we have a hard day we ‘feel’ the need for some mothers’ milk like foods, cheese, breads, ice-cream, even wine as it is a fermented drink.
What can we do about this? We can reprogram some of our hard-wired habits by practicing new ones – for a good read about how our ‘chimp-self’ can be tamed have a read of The Chimp Paradox, Dr Steve Peters about mind management.
Remember, however, that some of our cravings can come from nutrient deficiency, chocolate for example is often the need for vitamin C.
‘…But I am too hard-wired to change.’ – that maybe, but remember also that people who are born in countries such as Japan only have mother’s milk then the enzyme, lactase, stops being produced at about two years old.
So we can reprogram. Many of us have to if we develop lactose intolerance later in life, it is the same natural process the body’s need for dairy products is reduced as lactase enzyme stops.
Sweet tooth? This too is triggered by brain’s opioid signals, if after one spoon of jam, dates, or spoon of ice-cream you keep reaching for more, we have lost control – the brain has switched off and a primal reaction is taking over. knowing this means that we can think about limiting our sweet foods, setting a limit on something when you know why makes it a lot easier to negotiate with your ‘Chimp’ side of the brain.
So next time you reach for the cheese, wine, milk, chocolate ask yourself – is this comfort eating from life-time habit? am I missing some vital nutrients? Is my Chimp trying to take over?
We often hear we have to eat a balanced diet – but what is a balanced diet? how much Vitamin C are we getting a day, how well-balanced are your Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids? How to do you know if your fibre or protein is lacking?
One way to check if your diet is balanced is to log your food for a few days or better weeks on Cronometer and you will soon see where you are lacking.
Keeping a log of what you eat via an App may just help you make better food choices instead of just reacting and eating the first thing you can get your hands on.
Planning your meals for the day also help us to control cravings and improve our nutritional content – therefore getting closer to a ‘balanced’ diet.