A new study suggests that great-tasting, fattening foods may affect your brain in the exact same way as heroin or cocaine.
Are we really saying food is as addictive as crack?
We often joke about great tasting sweets being like crack. But here in America, healthy families reward kids when they do something good by giving them cupcakes. We adults celebrate new promotions or closed deals by going out for a cheesecake.
We certainly don’t inject heroin!
Now we are saying fattening food works on the brain in the very same way.
When you take a bite of a fattening food, it feels good.
But the more you eat it, the less you appreciate it. Your brain’s pleasure response gets progressively diminished according to the March 2010 Scripps Research Institute study.
When you eat delicious, fatty foods, dopamine is released in your brain. Dopamine is a neurochemical that makes you feel rewarded for doing something pleasurable.
However, as you eat more of that same food you feel less rewarded and you need to eat more to feel the same level of pleasure. Thus – addiction! This is the same affect that is observed for cocaine or heroin addiction.
I don’t know if we are quite ready to equate cupcakes, ice cream and cookies to crack, needles and piles of white powder. But they are incredibly powerful and they can really make a mess out of your life and ruin your health.
THAT is exactly the reason why you need to fill up on consistent, balanced, satisfying meals consisting of fully-loaded, flavorful, REAL FOOD. It’s the ONLY way to keep from feeling starved late at night - which inevitably leads to rooting around the kitchen for cookies and ice cream.
The best plan is to EAT a solid meal every 4 hours (not too bad right, you are going to be EATING not STARVING). I’ve got a fantastic nutrition plan for you if you need help getting started.
Keep yourself feeling full on healthy food. Then it’s a cinch to avoid eating all those mega-addictive sweets. Because once you get started, you literally can’t stop.
(Side note: the above picture is my healthy organic raspberry brownie recipe – I’ve got plenty more of those.)
Christine Avanti is a Los Angeles-based nutritionist, chef and healthy weight loss specialist. She has appeared on Dancing With The Stars, Tyra, Rachael Ray, The Today Show, E!, TV Guide, Fox Business Channel, and dozens of others. She is the author of Skinny Chicks Don't Eat Salads and the creator of the Simply Slimmer System, your nutritionist in a box.