I have a friend that eats 2 cans of black olives every day and if she doesn't she gets shaky. She says she started eating olives because she liked the taste but it is out of control now. Is she lacking in a nutrient or is this normal?
Canned black olives contain mostly carbohydrates and fats. There are no specific substances which would cause "withdrawal symptoms". Low blood sugar is the most common cause of someone getting shaky, which is then reversed by eating. I think if she ate anything it would probably help.
Olives are probably better than most sugary snack foods or a soda in that the fats and carbohydrates take longer to digest and are released slowly. This prevents the roller coaster effect of hunger with low blood sugar which leads to feeling shaky which provokes eating snacks high in simple sugars which leads to high blood sugars which then causes excess insulin secretion which causes subsequent low blood sugar which causes the shaky feeling and more hunger.
Low blood sugar is not necessarily a medical problem. Our bodies are designed more for constant browsing than one or two big meals a day. Three modest sized main meals with sensible snacks in-between works best for most people. Most cultures and work schedules incorporate a coffee break or "tea time" into the day for this reason.
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