There is much confusion about cravings, it is time to do some reading and clipping.
http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/edible-innovations/food-craving.htm says most revolve around the hedonic, or pleasurable, aspects of dining [source: Hill] so off I go to Hill.
Hill, Andrew J. "The psychology of food craving.
Hill does not accept food addiction. OK. Hill goes on to suggest that cravings are cognitive / emotional, not physical / chemical. He suggests that it is craving mainly are for highly palatable foods. Boredom and stress make cravings worse. OK.
Does this mean that cravings would reduce if I only ate palatable food. We would need a palatablity scale, un, low, medium, high, hyper. So no high or hyper palatable foods. Is satiation related to palatablity in an inverse fashion? No, enough, enough, more, please more, for a direct inverse related satiety scale. So if cravings are hedonic, if I only east low and medium palatable food I will not crave or crave less? Is that what you are suggesting, Hill? I will need to test that a bit before I swallow that. It could be all shit.
Experts believe that cravings occur for a variety of reasons. They
attribute them to evolution, psychological factors such as stress and
unhappiness, and - sometimes - a genuine need for certain foods.
from source noted below
crucial to remember that a food craving is not simply hunger,' says
Professor Andrew Hill, Head of the Academic Unit of Psychiatry and
Behavioural Sciences at Leeds University.
Hunger is the
body's way of making sure it is provided with energy, in the form of
nutrients from food. When the stomach is empty, it releases the hormone
ghrelin, which communicates with the brain's command centre, the
hypothalamus. This creates the feeling of hunger and is how we know when
Satiation is signalled by the release of the
hormones leptin by fat cells, and insulin by the pancreas, in response
to increased blood sugar.
Cravings, however, are much more complex.
who are starving will eat literally anything - even foods they do not
enjoy - to stay alive,' says psychologist Dr Leigh Gibson, Reader in
Biopsychology at Roehampton University.
'Cravings, on the other
hand, are an overwhelming sensation of desire for a certain food. There
are a number of chemicals in the brain that are associated with this.
there is dopamine, a brain chemical that is involved in learning and
concentration. When we see or experience something new, dopamine is
released in the brain.
'This works in tandem with other brain
chemicals called opioids, which give us feelings of enjoyment and
pleasure. The combination of these two factors mean that the brain
associates certain activities with pleasure, and it teaches us to do
them again and again.
'From an evolutionary point of view,
junk food cravings are linked to prehistoric times when the brain's
opioids and dopamine reacted to the benefit of high-calorie food as a
'We are programmed to enjoy eating fatty and sugary substances, and our brains tell us to seek them out.
we still have the same chemical reactions to these so-called
hyper-palatable foods, causing an unignorable desire - despite there
being less of a nutritional need for them.'