Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Why do we crave rich foods?

Why do we crave rich foods?

I am writing this article for a sub category “Low Calorie”.  In order to address calories in our diet we must look at our food cravings from an evolutionary point of view and understand why we crave such foods.  Basic understanding of ourselves can lead us to permanent changes in our lifestyle to bring desired changes.

We all know little bit about human evolution and present foot habits.  We are primates, a group of animals that includes a variety of monkeys spread all over the globe and us the HUMANS.  Many monkeys are vegetarians living in tropical forests with abundance of fruits and vegetables; however few of them such as chimpanzees also consume meat and hunt smaller animals.  Fruits and vegetable are full of carbohydrates (simple and complex sugars) and fibers whereas meats are mostly protein and fats beside minerals and vitamins.  

What caused fruit and vegetable eating primates to include meat and fat it their diet?  There are two reasons:

(1)    Evolution of primates resulted in larger brain and more intelligence.  Brain needs constant supply of energy and it can consume 12-18 times energy as compared to muscles.  Primate had to include meat and fats in order to meet this physiological need because meats and fats store lot more energy as compared to carbohydrates and indigestible fibers.  This is one of the reasons why herbivore primates became omnivores.

(2)    The other reason is migration.  Year round constant supply of fruits and vegetables was lost as primates moved from tropical forests to other climates during the course of evolution.  As a result of migration primates had to adapt and evolve to include other kind of foods in their diets. 

This evolution is ongoing natural process tracing back to millions of years.  Humans are evolving for at least last one million years.  We can clearly see that our craving for fatty and rich food is nothing but natural.   Majority of population around the globe consume animal protein and fat in some or other form.  Even vegetarians include animal fats and proteins in their diets, surprised? Think of milk, butter, clarified butter, cream, cheese (and list can go on and on) etc. that is normally considered vegetarian.  This is natural and a physiological need to sustain healthy body and mind.  Present day issue is not rich and fatty foods but how much and how do we consume it, our lack of clear understanding of physiological needs, and to some extent abundance of food in some societies.  We will continue this discussion in future articles.  Please visit us at

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