The Montreal Tribune International Canada National  Business


Health & Living

Compiled and edited for public service by Conrad David Brillantes

Snack Attack: Coping With Cravings

Moderation is key to satisfying your sweet tooth or salt craving.

Related Links


Have you ever felt you absolutely must have a piece of chocolate, a potato chip (oh, let's get real -- an entire bag of potato chips), or a box of Krispy Kremes?

Those food cravings are not a sign of weakness on your part. If you crave certain foods like cereals, grains, and sugar, you may actually be addicted to them, says James Braly, MD, medical director of York Nutritional Laboratories and author of Food Allergy Relief.

People with a food addiction may have symptoms like headaches, insomnia, irritability, mood changes, and depression, Braly says. They can relieve these symptoms -- but only temporarily -- by eating the foods they crave.

Most often, the foods we crave are processed carbohydrates. These change the brain's chemistry, increasing the level of serotonin, our feel-good neurochemical.

Boost Serotonin Right

"People with food cravings may actually have neurochemical and hormonal imbalances that trigger these cravings," Braly says.

If you think you may be serotonin-deficient and want to increase your serotonin levels without resorting to a pint of mint chocolate chip, Braly suggests trying these alternatives:

Although they have not been proven to be helpful, certain supplements might help, according to Braly. These include:

Body or Mind?

"It's important to distinguish whether your craving is physiological or psychological," says Rebecca Wilborn, director of the Midtown Diet Center in New York City. "Pay attention so that you can determine whether you are feeling actual hunger in your stomach."

Physical cravings may be a result of low fat intake or low blood sugar. For many of us, the mid-afternoon cravings we feel are merely our body's way of telling us it has been too long since lunch and we actually need to eat. A piece of fruit, yogurt, or a handful of nuts can get the blood sugar levels back up and keep us from reaching for the no-no snacks we think we're craving, according to Wilborn.

Emotions play a big part in food cravings, too, Wilborn says. "When we're stressed, anxious, frustrated, lonely ... all those feelings can trigger our cravings." She adds that we may have memories of how good certain foods made us feel when we were younger.

Sensory triggers, like smells and visual cues, can also set off cravings, says Wilborn. If you walk by the pizza stand on your trip through the mall, chances are you're going to start salivating.

How to Cope

If you're not physically hungry, Wilborn offers several recommendations for handling your cravings:

But allow yourself some moments of weakness, too. "Give in now and then," Wilborn says. "It's really not healthy to be so rigid."

Jennifer Grana, a registered dietitian with the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease in Pittsburgh, agrees that if there is no medical reason for you to avoid your favorite snacks, you should cut yourself some slack. "If you're reaching for a bag of chips only now and then, that's OK." As long as 80% of your food intake is good for you, you can play with that other 20%, she says.

Think of your favorite foods as a reward, she says -- a small treat after you've finished your exercise for the day, perhaps. "Don't think of a food craving as a negative," she says. "For most people, anything is OK in moderation."

Milk From Cancer-Fighting Cows
Could enhanced milk products become the mainstay of cancer prevention? One expert believes that changing cows' diets could cut cases of cancer. And there are some pretty interesting facts to back up this theory.

Popular Supplement May Slow Parkinson's
High doses of a popular supplement may delay the progression of Parkinson's disease by as much as half. Find out how it works and what the powerful pill could mean for the future of this debilitating disease.

Look and "Sea" How Algae May Help Pain
Learn how an herbal supplement containing sea-algae extract may be able to help alleviate the pain caused by carpal tunnel syndrome.

Feeling Good, Feeling Fat
It's unfortunate, but many drugs used to treat psychological problems can cause you to put on extra pounds. Find out a way to know if your body is predisposed to weight gain -- and learn what experts recommend you do if you're experiencing negative side effects from a drug that's supposed to make you feel better.

Should Kids With Autism Stop Drinking Milk?
Recent studies have shown that keeping milk and wheat out of an autistic child's diet may help keep symptoms under control. Scientists now think they understand why.

Don't Ditch Your Antidepressants So Quickly
Your antidepressants may have helped you feel much better -- so now you'd like to stop taking them. But if you haven't been on the drugs very long, there's a good chance you'll have a relapse -- and quickly.

New Ways to Get Your Daily Dose
Could a microchip one day replace your heartburn pills? Could your IBD medication be custom-tailored to your genetic makeup? Read about the latest futuristic research into drug delivery.

Insider: Drug Safety Not FDA Priority
Relief from digestive disorders often comes in the form of drugs. But how reliable are some of the drugs approved by the FDA? Is safety sacrificed for speed and innovation? Check out how drugs make it to market.

In This Issue:
- Don't Ditch Your Antidepressants So Quickly
- Boosting Teen Self-Esteem
- When Shyness Is a Real Problem

Free WebMD University Course -- Enroll Today
Stories of Survivors: Your Breast Cancer Guide

Greetings, member,
If you like science fiction stories, you'll go wild over the amazing advances in drug technology -- like new drugs tailored to your individual genes! And innovative methods to get those drugs exactly to the right place in your body -- without a shot or a pill. One recently approved example: a pump you swallow that slowly releases a daylong dose of Ritalin, which is used to treat
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children.
Find out what else scientists have in store.

Bring on the Booze?
Ladies, a bottle of beer may be very dear -- when fighting off heart disease, that is. A new study shows that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol could protect against heart disease in postmenopausal women -- much in the same way it has been shown to benefit men.

For more on how alcohol affects your health, check out these articles:
- The Benefits of Wine Consumption
- Alcohol Lowers Diabetes Risk in Women

Get the Flavor for Flavonoids!
Hungry? Reach for an apple. Why? Because it's rich in flavonoids! Flavonoids are plant products that act like antioxidants and work to stop cell-damaging substances from attacking your body. They're important, and they certainly can help your health. Asthma, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers are just a few of the diseases flavonoids help protect against. If apples aren't your thing, learn about some other flavonoid-rich foods.

When It Comes to Cancer, Does Healthy Eating Really Matter?
It's widely believed that eating habits have an impact on the development of certain cancers. But is that accurate?



IF YOU ARE IN THE TEXTILE AND GARMENT BUSINESS AND LOOKING FOR BUYERS IN CANADA Order your copy NOW of the NEW 2003-04  up-dated version or current listing of the Canadian Garment and Textile Buyers Guide and Industry Textile Book (fabric identification in dictionary form) are available at US$50 per copy

Important Notice To The Tribune Viewers! We Delete Thousands of Mails Everyday! If you were to send us e-mails, please make sure your identity is properly shown including the subject you are relaying.. Its our policy not to open attachments which also applies applies to all our correspondents and contributors.

"Check Our Advertising Rate Card"  

It is very important to note following the simple payment instruction at the bottom of the rate card will facilitate posting your ad in The Montreal Tribune. We are strictly not accepting ads on Dating Service, Multi-Level Marketing known as MLM, Porno, and Gambling.

All commercial ads found on and within this site are picked and selected by our affiliates in the United States of America. For Canadian and Overseas advertising, please refer your inquiry to our general agents for Canada,


This is a non profit, non religious, non political, & non racial online website and here's how you can help us stay on line, advertise or be one of our sponsors.   Since we download update news by the hour please view "Yesterday's Front Page".  Archives are only maintained 30 days. You may request copies beyond this time line, if available. Thanks  

In cooperative Link Service with Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Headline News

All Montreal Tribune Correspondents including those from Overseas are issued Press IDs, and could only be used on assignments, for verification purposes please contact the editor


This site is best viewed on 800x600 display resolution

For Optimal performance we recommended Internet Explorer Version 5.0+, and Netscape 4.7+

Copyright 2004 All Rights Reserved.

The Montreal Tribune ISSN 1186-2165 This page is one of the on-line pages of

Signed articles are the responsibility of the writers and not those of the publisher and editors of this publication.

Any communication concerning this site should be addressed to the webmaster.

This is a family friendly website - No Porno and Gambling links Allowed