Cravings During Pregnancy what do they indicate?

Cravings During Pregnancy what do they indicate?

Pickles? Chilli cheese toast? Chips? Ice cream Jars? New taste everyday. what are you craving today?

When you’re pregnant, you may experience cravings you didn’t have before. Not only that, you want to try different food combinations you’ve never tried before.

Pregnancy Cravings: What Does It Mean?

This sudden, irresistible urge to devour a particular food gets magnified during pregnancy because of hormonal changes. When cravings are present in an expecting mother, they can range from a craving for sweet desserts to a desire for spiciness to salty or sour foods.

During pregnancy cravings do not necessarily involve food items only. Occasionally, you may crave non-food items as well, such as dust, dirt, or clay. The craving could be pica, a type of craving associated with anaemia or malnutrition in general.

What does Pregnancy Cravings Indicates?

It has been reported that around 85% of pregnant women experience dietary cravings. So, what exactly is it that makes you all knee-jerk to give in to cravings? Well, the exact etiology of cravings is still unidentified. However, there are many other theoretic causes.

1). Nutritional Deficiency

It is believed that, usually, food cravings happens Whenever your body lacks a particular nutritional element or there is an increased need for certain vitamins and minerals.

2). Hormonal Changes

Many experts believe that pregnancy cravings are caused by hormonal changes. There are hormones in the body that might make these urges so implacable, including estrogen and progesterone. Hormones can potentially affect food receptors in the tongue, causing cravings and/or aversions toward food.

3). Increased sense of smell and taste:

Hormonal fluctuations are also thought to increase pregnant women’s sense of smell and taste which could be another contributing factor for food cravings

How normal it is to indulge into cravings?

You can indulge in occasional food cravings so long as you consume a variety of healthy foods. Avoid overindulging in unhealthy foods, such as sweets or chocolate, when you are craving them. Overconsumption of sugar can cause one to gain weight and develop dental problems.
When do Pregnancy craving starts?
Most pregnant women begin craving food in the first trimester, peak in the second trimester, and decline in the third. After delivery, many cravings end, so you won’t be plagued by the same odd craving forever.

Common Pregnancy Cravings:

Salty Foods:

Common salty cravings are chips, pickles, sausages and junk foodIn a hypothetical scenario, a low sodium diet might make you crave spicy and salty foods during pregnancy. Multiple studies suggest that repeated sodium depletion increases sodium consumption. This may be due to your blood volume increasing while pregnant. For this change, potassium and sodium intake must be properly controlled.


Pregnant women who crave sugar are most likely to enjoy chocolate, ice cream sugars and mithai. Researchers have discovered that pregnant women who have gestational diabetes prefer sweets more than those without the condition. During pregnancy, hormone fluctuations lead to this preference for sweet foods However, the research studies to support this thought are limited.

Healthy Cravings

Some women may crave healthy foods. Among the foods you prefer fruits (apples, watermelon, pears, grapes) juices (orange, mixed fruit juice )dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese) vegetables (green leafy veg) During pregnancy, you should try including more of these foods in your diet.

How to manage unhealthy cravings

  • Do not skip breakfast: It is imperative to start your day with wholesome food so that you will be energized and not feeling hungry later.
  • Eat small frequent meals: Small meals throughout the day keep you from splurging on junk food.
  • Exercise: It feels great to exercise because it releases endorphins, which decreases stress.
  • Portions Control : Rather than eating the complete pack of namkeen or snack, opt for a small helping of snack.
  • Keep healthy snack handy: Make sure to always carry snacks that are healthy and convenient, including nuts, fruits, curd and home-cooked food.
  • Hydrate: Drinking enough water is essential to staying hydrated. Because sometimes we mistake hunger for thirst, we tend to overeat.
  • Try new recipes: By trying new recipes, you can make every meal delicious and exciting.
  • Eat wisely: As much as possible, replace unhealthy food with healthy options. If you crave sweets or cakes, then eat a fruit instead. Instead of drinking a caffeinated beverage when you are thirsty, drink coconut water or lime water. Dark chocolate can be substituted for milk chocolate

Have you experienced any cravings while pregnant? We’d love to hear about your pregnancy cravings and how you managed to control them.

Dt. Mansi Padechia

Registered Dietician & Diabetic Educator.