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14 Surprising Fat-Burning Foods that Satisfy Unhealthy Food Cravings: Foods You Thought Were Healthy and More

Updated on May 8, 2014

Unhealthy food cravings are most often triggered by hormonal imbalances in both men and women. Serotonin is the hormone that controls mood, appetite and cravings. When levels are low, the body begins to crave high carbohydrate foods which lead to weight gain.Sudden uncontrollable urges to binge on zero fiber, calorie dense foods such as cookies, doughnuts and ice cream quickly improve mood and satisfy cravings but provide temporary satisfaction. Before long levels become depleted again and the nagging cravings return. The unfortunate consequences are elevated blood sugar levels, unhealthy weight gain and increased risk of disease.

The over consumption of fast food is another major source of serotonin depletion. Burgers, fries and milk shakes sold at fast food restaurants are calorie dense, nutrient deficient foods. They will temporarily restore serotonin levels and improve mood but before long you will have to have more to feel better again.

The big question is “what is the initial cause of low serotonin levels in men and women.” There are several contributors but the most significant is lack of nutrition capable of sustaining adequate levels of serotonin for long periods of time. Consuming foods rich in tryptophan and omega 3 fatty acids are essential for maintaining adequate serotonin levels in the body. When serotonin levels are healthy, food cravings are diminished.

When cravings come, instead of satisfying cravings with zero fiber, carbohydrate rich foods, choose foods rich in tryptophan and omega 3 fatty acids to restore tryptophan levels and high fiber foods to allow you to feel full on less. Not only will serotonin boosting and sustaining foods improve mood and eliminate craving, they will prevent them from returning.

Here, listed in order of tryptophan potency, are the 14 fat burning foods that will eliminate unhealthy food cravings:

1) Low-fat Milk (preferably organic) - 1 cup contains 612 mg and is a source of omega 3 fatty acids.

2) Winged beans - 1 cup contains 401 mg and is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids.

3) Raw Oat Bran - 1 ounce contains 315 mg and is an excellent source of dietary fiber and a good source of omega 3 fatty acids.

4) Chia seeds - 1 ounce contains 202 mg and is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids and dietary fiber.

5) Eggs (preferably free range) - 1 egg contains 182 mg. Spinach - 1 cup of raw or steamed spinach contains 156 mg and is also high in fiber.

6) Part skim milk mozzarella cheese - 1 ounce contains 94.9 mg and is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids.

7) Halibut (preferably wild) - 1 ounce contains 93.8 mg and is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids. All other types of fish are also rich in tryptophan.

8) Turkey - 1 ounce contains 77 mg.

9) Chicken - 1 ounce contains 75.6 mg.

10) Crab - 1 ounce contains 75.3 mg and is high in omega 3 fatty acids. Other crustaceans such as alaska king, crayfish and lobster are also excellent sources.

11) Ham - 1 ounce contains 65 mg.

12) Portabella mushrooms - 1 cup contains 60.5g and is a source of dietary fiber.

13) Lamb - 1 ounce contains 59.4 mg and is a good source of omega 3 fatty acids.

14) Asparagus - 1 cup contains 36.2 mg and is a good source of omega 3 and dietary fiber.

Combining any of the above foods is always a good idea to increase intake of tryptophan, dietary fiber and omega 3 fatty acids.


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    • Glemoh101 profile image

      Glemoh101 7 years ago

      amazing hub , thanks

    • Cathi Sutton profile image

      Cathi Sutton 8 years ago

      Very good Hub! Thanks for all the info!

    • cbris52 profile image

      cbris52 8 years ago

      Hmmmm... I can handle the chicken, ham, and eggs! I have slowly weined myself off of fast food and you can certainly tell a difference after only a few weeks of not eating it.

    • jill of alltrades profile image

      jill of alltrades 8 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for the list Steve! It's good I like all of those.

      Great hub!

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 8 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      you have supplied a very good detailed list.......thx 4 share

    • askjanbrass profile image

      askjanbrass 8 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Interesting, I have never considered using winged beans as a satisfying nutritious alternative during those nasty cravings for something, well, unhealthy. Thanks for the suggestions!

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 8 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      crab & ham? I would have never thought. I know alaskan salmon is one too.


    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 8 years ago from Great Britain

      Deary me!! I can't believe how little I know after 60 years on this planet. This is not sarcasm. I'm serious. Your hub explains a lot.

      I am beginning immediately to change my eating habits. Thank you for such a good, informative hub again. x

    • FGual profile image

      FGual 8 years ago from USA

      Great report. I don't eat most of these. Have non or low fat milk and yogurt once in a while. Only seafood is sardines and tuna. Salad now and then. A slice of imitation american cheese on sandwiches. Flavored oatmeal is my only cereal. No fast or fried foods

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 8 years ago from Irl

      Double bookmarked!

    • MrTooree profile image

      MrTooree 8 years ago

      Great hub !!! I need to lay off the fast food, and I know I would start feeling better. Thanks !!!

    • artrush73 profile image

      artrush73 8 years ago

      Nice Hub thanks :)

    • stevemark122000 profile image

      stevemark122000 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks for your comments everyone!

      David, you can learn more about winged beans by clicking on the following link.

    • profile image

      david stillwagon 8 years ago

      Great hub,but I am not sure what winged beans are?

    • Putz Ballard profile image

      Putz Ballard 8 years ago

      I suspected this now I know, thanks for sharing.

    • genrp profile image

      Genie Rose Palabay-De Guzman 8 years ago from North Hollywood, CA, USA

      I love low-fat milk and egg. I love lamb as well but it's just too expensive here in the Philippines. Nice hub. Have a great weekend.


    • BeiYin profile image

      BeiYin 8 years ago from Ibiza Spain

      Steve, I have made a comment, but it got to long, so I have made a new hub out of it. Please read it at:

      Thank you for your thought provoking hub!

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 8 years ago from United States

      I like most of those. Good hub.

    • Sandyspider profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

      I might have to try some of these.