Food cravings are rarely a healthy desire, with the majority of people craving sugary, salty, fatty, or carbohydrate-rich foods to satisfy certain desires. They are usually emotional, rather than a sign of hunger.
"A lot of people wants caffeine and sugar just to think," says Mary Beth Sodus, a registered nutritionist at the University of Maryland Medical Center. These forms of cravings are more intellectual, as people need these foods to stay engaged, she says.
Sugar is a common craving and is common when people are in need of energy and want a quick fix. "Sometimes people go from sugar to sugar without actually eating a meal," says Sodus.
Although sweet, chocolate is its own class of craving and is commonly associated with people wanting to be comforted. "It's like a big hug." says Sodus.
Salty flavors are also a common craving and can occur for a wide range of reasons, according to the experts. But things can be done to stop them consuming your mind. "They hit people above the neck as a taste for something, not actual hunger," says Sodus.
Carbohydrates can also be a common craving. Their heavy, hearty nature can be what people crave when in need of comforting or wanting to relax, and feel sleep, according to Sodus.
"[Carbohydrates] are kind of anesthetizing food...and have a comforting quality," says Sodus.
Sodus argues that the smooth, milky texture of dairy items such as cheese can help people feel mothered. "It's made from milk and is a substantial source of protein."
One key aspect of cravings, and averting hunger overall, is hydration."Hydration is key, that can change your feeling of fullness almost immediately," says Sodus.