Sunday, April 07, 2013
What makes certain foods addictive?
1. Sugar stimulates the brain’s pleasure or reward centers through the neurotransmitter dopamine.
2. Brain Imaging (PET scans) shows that high-sugar and high-fat foods work like heroin, opium and morphine in the brain.
3. Obese people and drug addicts have lower numbers of dopamine receptors, making them more likely to crave things that books dopamine.
4. Foods high in fat and sweets stimulate the release of the body’s own opoids (chemicals like morphine) in the brain.
5. People (and rats) develop a tolerance to sugar-they need more and more of the substance to satisfy them. (Also true of alcohol or heroin).
6. Animals and humans experience withdrawal when suddenly cut off from sugar. Just like drugs, after an initial period of “enjoyment” of the food withdrawal can come.
Liquid sugar calories are the most addictive food in our diet. It is the single biggest source of added sugar. Sugar-sweetened drinks are bad for us because:
• Empty calories keep us from eating healthy foods.
• From 1977-2002, the consumption of calories in sugar-sweetened beverages doubled and is the main source of added sugar in our diet.
• Obesity rates doubled during that period in children 2-11 and tripled in adolescents 12-19.
• More than 90% of American children & teens drink soda every day.
• Women who drink 1 sugar sweetened soft drink have an 82% higher risk of developing diabetes over 4 years.
• Other studies link sugar-sweetened drinks to pre-diabetes, diabetes and heart disease.
• Sugar sweetened drinks lead to weight gain.
When you drink your calories, you don’t feel full, so you eat more. If a person drinks water instead of 1 soda a day, he or she would consume 225 fewer calories a day. In a year, that is 82,123 fewer calories or 24 pounds a year. Drink water! Chill it, filter it! Add lemon or lime to it!
The only studies that have had any different findings were funded by the food industry. Interesting isn’t it?