Can food be addictive?

When we hear the word addiction, what comes to mind is an image of someone hooked on heroin or cocaine. We rarely think of food as addictive. Well, I am here to tell you categorically that food is just as addictive as heroin. If you really want to find out the root cause of being overweight and obese, this is where you need to start.

According to a study published in “Nature Neuroscience,” the effects of high-fat, high-calorie fast food on animals were very similar to those of cocaine or heroin.

From the research, the effects of fast food on the rat’s brain were very similar to what happens to a cocaine addict. After a while, the rats exhibit typical addict behaviors, to the point that they had to be fed more and more food to make them feel good.

Laboratory rats were divided into three groups. One group was fed healthy foods. The other group was given a restricted amount of junk food, while the last group was allowed to eat high-fat, high-calorie foods as much as they wanted, with the result that they became obese.

The most notable discovery was that the brains of the obese rats were physically altered. The obese rats totally lost the ability to control their appetites.

They continued to eat even when they were full. Even the introduction of an obstacle in the form of an electric shock did not deter them from eating. To make matters worse, when their diets were switched to wholesome, wholesome foods, they stopped eating and went hungry for two full weeks!

In a different study conducted at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. It was found that rats fed foods high in saturated fat and full of sugar and calories (a recreation of the more common fast food menu) reduced the rats’ ability to respond to leptin. Leptin is a hormone that controls appetite. As the rats gained weight, the amount of leptin in their bodies also kept increasing, essentially signaling to their brains that they were starving. Therefore, the rats continued to overeat and gain more weight.

Tasty foods made high in fat, calories, sugar…the typical makeup of a fast food menu…are absolutely addictive. On the other hand, wholesome healthy food is not addictive. Can you imagine being addicted to vegetables? Vegetables are not addictive, but cookies, chips, or soda can be just as addictive as cocaine. The rats that were addicted in the experiment continued to eat, despite being shocked!

This is exactly why being overweight has become an epidemic. We are fighting an addiction without really knowing it. Eating refined carbohydrates such as cookies, cakes, sweets, pasta, white bread, increases serotonin and endorphins in the brain, creating a state of peace and happiness. Therefore, we crave these carbohydrates when we are anxious or stressed.

Eating foods high in sugar and salt makes us want to eat more foods of the same nature. Fast foods and food manufacturers have mastered the art of making food tasty and therefore addictive.

Alcohol, cigarettes, heroin are biologically addictive substances, and that is why addicts continue to consume them despite being fully aware of the terrible consequences on their health and social status. They cannot help themselves; your physiology has been programmed to crave these substances. That is exactly what happens to a food addict. And without knowing it, that is exactly what is happening to most of us.

This is the reason why obese patients continue to overeat despite full knowledge of the adverse health consequences. They often face physical discomfort and social stigma, including discrimination in their office, yet continue to overeat. It’s simply because certain types of food are highly addictive, even more addictive than drugs. Many obese patients simply cannot avoid it. They are addicted to food.

In a different study conducted at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. It was found that rats fed foods high in saturated fat and full of sugar and calories (a recreation of the more common fast food menu) reduced the rats’ ability to respond to leptin. Leptin is a hormone that controls appetite. As the rats gained weight, the amount of leptin in their bodies also kept increasing, essentially signaling to their brains that they were starving. Therefore, the rats continued to overeat and gain more weight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *