10 Foods You Can Actually Get Addicted to
Food addiction may sound far-fetched but it is very real. More common among people with obesity, it occurs in about 20% of the population. Just like drug addicts find it difficult to control drug use, people who are addicted to food lack control of some particular food consumption.
Food addiction or addictive-like eating behavior has a biochemical basis. It is not just the lack of willpower that makes it difficult in resisting certain foods.
Processed foods, especially those high in sugar and fat are reported to be highly addictive.
They are highly palatable and contains large amount of quick release calories which promotes food cravings.
When you eat, your brain secret dopamine and other feel-good clues. For highly processed foods, massive amount of feel-good chemicals is released.
A two-part study published in PLOS ONE reveals some highly addictive foods that we shall cover below.
If you can’t stop eating more slices of pizza, it may not be entirely your fault. Pizzas are highly processed food which may stimulate opiod and dopamine receptors in your brain pleasure center making you crave for more pizza. The salt stimulates appetite and the additional fat and sugar causes sharp rises and falls in your blood sugar.
Chocolates contain a lot of fat which your brain loves. Coupled with a sweet taste, it may become a compulsory eating routine for you.
It is no wonder that you can’t keep your eyes and hands off the M&M bowl on your office table. The delicious temptation of chocolate is hard to resist once the addiction sets in. According to this study, chocolate behaves like alcohol and certain drugs by stimulating oxytocin and other feel-good hormones. This causes the brain to start expecting another “hit”.
3. Potato Chips
Commercial potato chips and their cracker variants are highly processed. They contain a lot of salt and air. Thus, they are not filling and you can eat lots of them without feeling satisfied.
Chips may activate opiate receptors which increase your craving for it. When you reach into a bowl of chips and find it difficult to stop, it is the simple carbs in them that are stimulating your brain to want more. The quick glucose release is pleasing to your brain.
4. Ice Cream
Many people have ice cream cravings. The fat, sugar and creamy texture make them highly palatable. Ice cream is just cream and milk which stimulate the brain as drugs do to induce addictive-like behaviors.
Ice cream addiction involves creating “high” and “low” as observed with sugar dependency.
Small portions and low-fat ice creams can help you prevent addiction.
5. French Fries
French fries is made with potato but don’t mistake it for ordinary potato. The frying in oil changes everything. The luscious bites after bites are as a result of salt and fats coating on the chips.
You may end up craving more after several mouthfuls even if you desire to stop. You may have a tendency to binge eat fries because fats and sodium send positive messages to your brain to continue.
Like many people, you can make do with an occasional birthday cake. But if your fridge is stocked with cakes, you are on your way to losing control to them. The super sweet high caloric cake doesn’t just treat your palette, they also nudge your brain with pleasure.
Cheeseburgers are popular with fast food restaurants and contain unhealthy saturated fats. It is not just weight that you have to worry about but a potential cheeseburgers addiction. Burgers are fatty and can induce uncontrollable cravings. The cheese on burgers is high in fat and cholesterol and also contain casomorphin which promotes addiction.
8. Fried Chicken
Chicken is good but the crispy, salty and fat layer which covers it upon frying can induce addiction. The outer tasty layer makes it irresistible.
Moderate fat consumption poses no danger of addiction but when large fat is combined with ample sugar, the result may be helplessness in the face of cookies.
If you are eating a whole lot of cookies without a break, the biological mechanism of food addiction may have set in.
If possible avoid cookies altogether as you will be saving yourself of addiction and sugar.
The high sugar and artificial sweeteners in sodas make us love them and is also responsible for soda cravings.
Repetitive consumption of sodas reinforces dopamine release while paving the way for soda dependency.
While food addiction is in itself worrying, the long-term consequences such as obesity and diabetes can ruin your health.
You can avoid many addictive foods by choosing single ingredient foods and in other cases, preparing the potentially addictive food yourself so you can control the sugar, fat and salt content.
What are foods you can get addicted to?
- Potato Chips
- Ice Cream
- French Fries
- Fried Chicken