The Food Addiction Paradigm

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The other day I was talking to someone about healthy eating and the first thing he said was, “well, eating healthy doesn’t taste as good nor do I crave it”. And I’m going to dive into this a little.

Today our conventional foods are not only lacking nutrients but are actually addictive. We become addicts to them, we crave them. This makes it even harder to want or start a healthier diet. Let’s look into this a little more.

Food has almost become a drug dependency. Many of the foods we consume are filled with chemicals, additives, products that change our brain chemistry and make us addicting to them, similar to drugs.

Here’s a few additives in food that effect our brain chemistry:

Sugar - the average American consumes 17.4 teaspoons of sugar per day. It stimulates a part of your brain called the nucleus accumbens which through dopamine release stimulates pleasure. It makes us crave this feeling and is detrimental to our health.

MSG - an excitotoxin which can stimulate and excite your brain. This can become addictive but can cause long term problems such as obesity and depression.

Cheese - a chemical in cheese known casein which releases opioids in the brain called casomorphins. These stimulate the brain similar to opioids such as morphine and Vicodin. This makes these products addictive to the brain.

Artificial Flavors - many flavors and recipes for flavoring can include compounds that are neuro stimulating and addicting.

This is just a few examples of foods and additives that truly effect our bodies like drug addictions. This makes it even harder to stop eating these foods because we become mentally dependent on them.

Also, when you are starting a new diet just keep this in mind. It’s not only a process of trying knew foods but it’s also a process of breaking these addictions. Once this process is broken you will see your body will stop craving these foods and start responding more to nutrient dense food. The foods that you once thought was boring will be your new craving and that’s because you are in tune with yourself.

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