Not meeting the suitable dietary protein requirements might lead to meat cravings. People who are deficient in zinc, iron, vitamin B12, folate, or magnesium might crave red meat. Pregnant women might also have these cravings. For some persons, craving for meat might be craving for junk food.
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Recently, the health industry has been pushing for a shift to consuming more plant-based foods to reduce people’s carbon footprint and improve their health. Also, a lot of people who’ve tried to make this change experience an extreme craving for meat. There isn’t enough research to indicate just what causes this craving. Here are some possible reasons why you might be craving meat.
Possible reasons you might be craving meat
Low on protein
If you are protein deficient, you’re likely to crave it. According to studies, humans have a strong appetite for protein, and if they don’t get the necessary proportion of it, they might be driven to eat more of it. According to the Amercian Heart Association, most Americans are eating more protein than they need. So, while a lack of sufficient protein could be the cause of your meat craving, the possibility is very slight.
Deficiency in iron might cause craving. This is true for red meat cravings. One reason for this could be the fact that the best and the most bioavailable sources of protein animal-based foods, such as meat, chicken, and fish. Zinc deficiency is also linked to red meat cravings.
Also, according to most experts, a deficiency in vitamin B12, folate, or magnesium might cause meat craving. However, there is no research to back this assertion.
You’re attached to it
Recently, three consecutive studies examined consumer attitudes towards meat. They all concluded that most people derive a sense of pleasure from meat. They might also have an attraction for and depend on it. This led them to conclude that there’s a sense of attachment to meat that prevents people from shifting to plant-based diets. So, if you tend to long for meat after you’ve gone a day without it, this might be why.
There are sets of unusual cravings attached to pregnancy. Meat might just be one of them. A recent study was conducted on the dietary cravings of pregnant women in Tanzania. From all the foods that they craved, meat topped the list. Other studies also indicated that most vegetarian and vegan women develop cravings for meat during pregnancy.
You’re Actually Craving Junk Food
It’s possible that your craving for meat is, in fact, a craving for junk food like cheeseburgers. Studies indicate that people tend to crave high-fat, high-protein, and high-salt foods. And, that giving up any of these foods might lead to withdrawal symptoms like irritability and anger.
If you’re trying to cut out meat from your diet, be sure to do it gradually. Also, add several different sources of plant-based protein foods to get all the essential amino acids. And, whether you choose to eat meat or switch to more plant-based sources, don’t forget to limit your meat consumption to 15% of your total daily diet.