Craving something sweet? Or maybe your tastes run more toward salty snacks. Whatever you’re hankering after, an abrupt desire for specific foods can be your body's way of signaling a hidden nutrient deficiency, new information reveals. Unfortunately, cravings can be the downfall of the best-laid diet plans – especially when it’s for sugary, fatty, or foods that are fried. Thankfully, we’ve found science-backed tricks that make it easy to pass these temptations by – without feeling deprived!

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Crave salty snacks? Drink up!

Almost none of us have a salt deficiency, so why are chips, fries, and pretzels top cravings? “We often crave salty foods when we're thirsty and dehydrated,” says Michelle Schoffro Cook, Ph.D., D.N.M., author of Food Fix. Indeed, University of California scientists recently proved that salt cravings are your body's method of tricking you into replenishing H2O, by making you feel thirstier. The straightforward fix: The moment you are feeling a craving, down 8 oz. of water, tea, or perhaps a spritzer. Cornell University findings suggest the trick could quash salt cravings almost instantly.

Crave creamy treats? Bunch on veggies!

“A sudden desire to have creamy mac and cheese or nachos might be your body's way of telling you you've got a calcium deficiency,” says Dr. Schoffro Cook. Indeed, researchers at Baylor College of drugs find it's an underlying problem for 68 percent of us. The issue? Simply loading up on calcium can't help the body process the appropriate nutrient. What does work? Recruiting calcium's sidekick, vitamin K, by adding a mug of veggies to 1 meal a day. The under-the-radar nutrient – rich in broccoli, asparagus and Brussels sprouts – helps efficiently rebalance calcium levels, quashing cravings for creamy indulgences for up to Twenty four hours.

Crave chocolate? Choose a soak!