What Does It Mean If You Crave Fatty Foods? 5 Reasons

Medically Reviewed on 4/20/2022
What Does It Mean If You Crave Fatty Foods
Your body needs fats to function, and fatty foods tend to taste good. However, if you crave fatty foods often, it could be a sign that your body is missing specific nutrients

If you crave fatty foods, you are not alone. Your body needs fats to function, and fatty foods tend to taste good. However, if you crave fatty foods often, it could be a sign that your body is missing specific nutrients.

5 reasons why you may crave fatty foods

  1. Deficiency of fat-soluble vitamins: Craving fatty foods can be due to a lack of fat or fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins E, D, K, and A) in your diet. You can satisfy this craving with fatty fish, avocados, or nuts and seeds.
  2. Food memories: Food cravings are often caused by areas of the brain that are responsible for memory and sensory pleasure. When you see fatty foods, these areas get activated, and your brain may associate these foods with pleasure and reward. These memories can be powerful enough to increase your cravings for fatty foods.
  3. Stress: If you crave fatty foods, it could be a sign that you are stressed or anxious. Many people find fatty foods comforting, and high-carb foods boosts levels of serotonin in the brain, which are feel-good chemicals that give you temporary relief from stress
  4. Genetics: According to some studies, getting fat in your diet is a tendency embedded in our genes. Our ancestors have been able to store excess calories to survive during times of hardship, and in some ways our bodies may be programmed to crave high-calorie foods as a means of survival.
  5. Fast metabolism: Cravings fatty foods may be more pronounced in people who have a fast metabolism, since their bodies burn calories faster.

How to curb cravings for fatty foods

  • Control your portions: While it’s OK to give in your cravings once in a while, the key is to keep an eye on your portions. To avoid eating an entire bag of chips, pour out a small amount onto a plate instead of eating directly from the bag. Scoop out your ice cream into a bowl and don’t eat out of the carton.
  • Make smart choices: When you crave fatty foods, you can try making low-calorie versions of your favorite snacks. For example, if you are craving brownies, try a low-fat recipe that tastes just as good.
  • Don’t go hungry: If you skip meals or go hungry for too long, chances are that you may end up overcompensating by eating too much or opting for fast food. Make it a habit to eat more frequent, smaller meals throughout the day to keep your cravings under control.
  • Find other ways to de-stress: If you are someone who reaches for fatty foods for comfort, explore other ways to de-stress:
    • Meet a friend for coffee
    • Take a walk 
    • Pursue a hobby you enjoy
    • Listen to your favorite music
    • Get a relaxing massage
    • Get a pedicure
    • Read a book


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically Reviewed on 4/20/2022
Image Source: iStock Images

The Facts About Food Cravings. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-facts-about-food-cravings