Do you know anyone who isn’t addicted to food? Laugh at this question, but Americans do have food addictions. Adults are getting fatter, children are getting fat. Statistics say that the next group of children will be the first generation whose lifespan may actually be shorter than their parents.
After years of study medical researchers have come up with basic foods that consumers are addicted to. These food addictions are due to the chemical compounds in refined foods that work on the calming chemicals or dopamine in the brain. Millions of you love beef, cheese and sugar. “Comfort foods” you call these foods and when you feel bored or sad you eat fatty comfort foods. After a few hours the crash sets in and the chemicals wear off. Now begins a low and depressive period and off you go to the next comfort food binge; cheeseburgers, nachos or gooey pizza, blocks of cheese, or sweets galore.
According to WebMD comfort food binging is identical to the highs you get with chemical addictions. If you have ever driven to the all night drive-through for a milkshake and fries, you are using food as a coping mechanism. This is just like a drug or alcohol fix. What makes food an instrument of addiction is the highs and lows. You eat processed and refined foods, you feel great. The chemicals wear off and a sense of guilt sets in. This sense of guilt forces you to resolve to stop binging, but you just do it again. Now you are an addict.
When you have a craving for your special comfort foods, are they nice crisp apples or a piece of celery? Not really. How about a wonderful lean chicken sandwich or a salad? Who is comforted by a salad? You reach for the carb-filled, fatty, sugary processed and refined food. These refined foods trigger the pleasure sensors in your brain and these are the foods you love. Food manufactures know this so they target their yummy food advertisements to the evening hours when you are not so busy. Couch potatoes and television surfers pry themselves up, head for the food pantry and gorge on processed and refined foods.
What can Processed Foods do to your Body?
Processed foods are those wonderful crackers, chips, party mixes, cereal breads, cookies and anything that comes in a sealed package. Snack foods are specifically designed to make you want more. Processed foods contain all the ingredients that trigger the addiction cycle in your brain. You want more and you find ways to justify eating more.
The dilemma is you need to eat, but what you are eating is actually moving you faster to the grave. Diabetes, heart disease, cancer and high blood pressure plus digestive problems are caused by the refined foods that your brain now craves.
Food is awesome; you all love food; you need to eat and packaged, processed and refined foods tastes good. Processed foods are convenient; just stop at the grocery store and buy a. meal in a bag, run home and fill your family’s plates with addictive carbs and fats.
- Refined and processed foods take the components of whole foods and modify them by taking out fiber, water and nutrients. Refined foods do have elements of whole foods, but these elements are concentrated which causes digestive problems.
- Eating refined and concentrated food will artificially stimulate dopamine or the pleasure neurotransmitter in the brain. You are eating foods that cause great and happy feelings and you want more.
- It is proven that high fructose corn syrup and MSG plus sugar have been linked directly to weight gain and obesity. You can cut down on childhood obesity by up to 20% if you eliminate the weekly fast food trips.
- Refined and processed food contains ingredients that do not follow the principles of what foods meld with other foods. This leads to poor digestion, acidic blood, weight gain and loss of energy. Frozen meat and cheese pizzas are a perfect example of foods mixed together poorly. Mix meat or animal proteins, pizza crust or grains with cheese or a dairy product. This combination causes poor digestion.
- You inner ecosystem is being slowly poisoned to death by your addictive food cravings. When you eat foods that are refined you are killing the microflora that lives in your digestive tract. Loss of this microflora causes constipation, creates IBS disease, and contributes to diabetes.
- Depression, memory issues and mood swings are direct responses to processed foods. The ingredients in processed foods and the fats and oils used in processed foods are highly refined. Healthy fats and oils are stripped of the essential fatty acids you need for a healthy body, and high sugar intake causes memory problems and mood swings. Your heart and brain are actually being poisoned when you choose to eat refined and highly processed foods.
Stop the Addiction Cycle
Eating processed and refined foods creates a vicious cycle. These types of foods are convenient; they have great taste and provide quick energy and pleasure. Forget about the slump, you just eat more to keep up the good feelings.
Over time you are getting fatter, feeling less energetic and poisoning your body. Did you know that drinking aspertaine, the ingredient in sugar free foods is putting embalming fluids in your body? How awful is that? Foods that read “sugar free” are really full of high fructose corn syrup and MSG. Studies have further proven that there are three types of cancers that are caused by processed and refined foods. These are pancreatic, stomach, and colorectal cancer. You eat high processed meats like deli meats and hot dogs or fast and dash off to the gym. You are really contributing to pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer and colorectal cancer. In addition, you can actually become malnutritioned if your diet is full of refined foods.
Refined and processed foods are full of chemicals, preservatives and additives that are designed to give foods long shelf lives. Long shelf life in processed foods means shortened lives in humans.
- Get rid of refined sugars and substitutes and start eating foods that have natural bacteria like probiotics that help with digestion.
- When shopping at the market make a conscious effort to eat foods that are both good for you and taste awesome. Look for those foods that are nutrient rich and life sustaining.
- Remember that although eating is central to most of the activities we participate in, food is simply a way to nourish our bodies and give us fuel.
- When snacking try eating hummus and whole wheat pita. Eat great tasting oatmeal with honey.
- Look at the food chart and choose something from each level for every meal. You will be healthier for it.
Every time you pass up the processed and refined foods for something that is healthy and tasty you are breaking the addiction cycle. The more you eat fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains the less your brain will tell you to eat sugars and fats and the sodium that is in processed foods.
Maybe eating processed foods is not exactly an addition, but it does affect health almost as much as alcohol, drugs and tobacco. Any action that leads to body deterioration is addictive. Make smart choices and you will discover that you have more energy to run up and down stairs, work out at the gym, sleep better, and wear those trendy skinny jeans and tight shirts.