Fats are an essential part of proper nutrition. But as you know, eating too much fat can be unhealthy. And then there is the problem of flavor. Some fat-filled foods taste great, so they are hard to resist. New research tells us exactly why.
If you have a tough time cutting back on unhealthy fat and sugar, it may be because of the way your brain reacts to certain foods.
Study – Fatty Foods and Sugar as Addictive as Cocaine
A US government study suggests that processed foods and sweet, sugary drinks and snacks actually cause a reaction in your brain that creates addiction. Nora Volkow is the Director at the United States National Institute on Drug Abuse. She says that there is overwhelming data which has identified fatty foods and sweet treats as having the addictive power of cocaine, nicotine and other drugs.
This is relatively new knowledge, not really known by scientists in the 1990’s. Previously, if someone could not cut back on unhealthy fats, sugar and fast foods, that person was said to have a will power problem. They simply were not trying hard enough.
But now we know that is not always the case. If you crave doughnuts, sweet sodas and sugar-packed candy bars, it may be because your brain circuitry rewards you with an explosion of “feel good” hormones and chemicals when you eat them.
No fewer than 28 scientific studies on food addiction were published in substantial medical and health journals in 2011 alone. And they all revealed similar findings. This is not good news if you are trying to limit fat and sugar.
Because now that the food manufacturers have been alerted to this knowledge, sugar, fat and high fructose corn syrup are going to find their way into more and more foods.
And while fats and sugars have always been in the human diet, modern processing has created a new level of addiction. Extremely concentrated sugars, unhealthy fats and refined flour with little fiber or nutrients are being found in addictive fast foods and sweet treats. So what was already a problem in your brain has become even more difficult to combat.
Fortunately, [Tweet “you can rewire your brain to lessen the effects of sweet and fatty foods”]. Slowly begin to limit the amount of high-fat, high-sugar foods and snacks you eat. Just remember that you have a natural tendency to crave these types of foods, since your brain will reward you with pleasure.
And remind yourself that too eating much fat and sugar can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular problems, stroke, heart attack, poor circulation and overweight. Cutting back is going to be difficult, but the health rewards are more than worthwhile.
Here’s also a great book that will help you understand this as well. Salt, Sugar and Fat.
If you are looking to really understand hunger and hormones, join me for my webinar, click here to register