Let food be thy medicine. Just don’t let it be thy drug.
Can’t resist a slice – or two or three – of pizza? You may well be addicted.
Researchers from the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan and the New York Obesity Research Center at the Mount Sinai – St. Luke’s Hospital in New York wanted to know what foods felt addictive to real people.[i]
They posited that highly processed foods may trigger an addictive response in some people that leads to unintended overeating. And they observed that these foods share common traits with highly addictive drugs.
What is food addiction?
Like other drug problems, they say, “food addiction” is characterized by:
- Loss of control over consumption;
- Continued use despite negative consequences; and
- Inability to cut down despite the desire to do so.
And neuro-imaging studies show similar brain patterns in “food addicts” and drug addicts. In particular both show increased activation of the reward regions of the brain in response to food cues – just like other addictions.
Although you may have your own suspicions, human studies haven’t confirmed which foods are most likely to trigger an addiction. Animal studies suggest that highly processed foods like Oreo Double Stuf cookies, cheesecake, and icing set off binges.
To get a better handle on what foods are most likely to get the better of people, the researchers asked about 500 people to complete a Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) survey to determine which of 35 foods were most associated with problem eating behaviors. Problem behaviors included trouble cutting down on the food, or losing control over how much of the food was eaten, or feeling that you aren’t eating enough of the food.
The foods in the survey fit into four categories:
- Chocolate/French Fries: high in both fat and refined carbohydrates/sugar
- Cheese/Bacon: high in fat but not refined carbohydrates/sugar
- Pretzels/Soda: high in refined carbohydrates/sugar but not fat
- Broccoli/Chicken: low in both fat and refined carbohydrates/sugar
In general, the researchers found that processed foods high in fat and having a high glycemic load, were most frequently associated with addictive eating behaviors. The glycemic loadmeasures how quickly a standard serving of a particular food will spike your blood sugar.
There was an interesting exception. The researchers found that men had more of a problem with some unprocessed foods (e.g., steak, nuts, cheese) than women did.
Here’s the list:
- Ice Cream
- French Fries
- Fried Chicken
- Rolls (plain)
- Popcorn (buttered)
- Breakfast Cereal
- Gummy Candy
Although some of the foods on the list are unprocessed, the researchers observed that processing tends to result in a higher concentration of addictive substances in a food with the addition of fat, carbs, and sugar. In other words, the dose of fat and sugar you get in cake or pizza is much higher than you would find in nature. And, they note, the combination of fat and sugar in a single food rarely occurs in nature.
In addition to concentrating the dose, processing accelerates the rate at which the addictive substances are absorbed in the bloodstream. Processing removes fiber, protein, and water which naturally slow down absorption. It speeds up blood sugar spikes which are known to activate areas of the brain involved in addiction.
In other words, the researchers noted, a coca leaf is relatively harmless, but processing it to powdered cocaine turns it into a highly addictive substance. The same is true of food and especially sugar, they say. In fact, studies show sugar is more addictive than cocaine and fructose may be as addictive as alcohol.
Animal studies prove sugar is highly addictive. It leads animals to binge and, when it’s removed from their diet, it gives rise to withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, teeth chattering, and aggression.
If you don’t lose control around any of the foods on the list, count yourself lucky. The researchers observed that some people seem to have a predisposition for addiction. When that predisposition comes up against an addictive food, problem bingeing results.
But there may be other explanations for why some foods can get the best of us.
For information on why foods like wheat and dairy may get you hooked, read “Do Hidden Opiates In Our Food Explain Food Addictions?”
And neuropsychologist Diane Robinson, PhD, stresses the emotional aspects of food.[ii] She notes that from a very early age, we become emotionally attached to food. For many, a food might console us when we’re upset, reward us for good behavior, or be the centerpiece of holidays and celebrations. Even the smell of certain foods can evoke powerful emotions and lead to overeating.
Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation
Recent research has shown that Inflammation is responsible for 7 out of 10 Deaths in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be the same way for you.
In fact, in a fairly short amount of time, you could start to experience better sleep…less stomach issues…more energy and stamina…less muscle and joint pain…a drop in weight…lower stress levels…and much, much more!
Learn how to Prevent—Even Reverse—Most Major Diseases by “Turning Off” Inflammation!
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
Because you're about to learn easy throat exercises that cure (not just treated) your stubborn snoring – in 3 minutes – starting TONIGHT!
...even if straps, sprays and even torturing CPAP masks have failed you in the past.
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Use them anytime, anywhere... even while stuck in traffic or watching TV.
Plus the results are permanent!
Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
However, there's good news- Calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!
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Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...
And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!
The cookbook is called Paleo Eats, and it's filled with over 80 chef created, insanely tasty Paleo recipes which means they are free from gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar.
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because they only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.