Q:I’m vegetarian and I find I’m always craving sweets—is my diet missing something that is causing these cravings?
A: “Cravings are usually caused by the body missing something,” says Vancouver’s Studeo 55’s nutritionist Kelly Van Montfoort. “I hear that complain often, not just from vegetarians.”
Van Montfoort explains that there could be two causes to your cravings. You may be craving sugar because you are not eating enough calories throughout the day, resulting in low blood sugar. Or—and this may be linked to your vegetarian diet—you may be consuming an improper macronutrient balance. Carbs and protein stabilize blood sugar levels, and a diet low in these sources may be leading you to crave sweets.
To get your sweet tooth under control, make sure you’re getting enough calories daily and ensure your diet includes adequate amounts of protein and carbs. If you’re confused as to how to figure out how much is enough, speak to a nutritionist who can take into account factors such as your age, weight, exercise habits, and more, and make a recommendation for you.