Fatty Foods Similar to a Cocaine Addiction?!

http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/03/28/fatty.foods.brain/index.html

The article opens with:

“A new study in rats suggests that high-fat, high-calorie foods affect the brain in much the same way as cocaine and heroin. When rats consume these foods in great enough quantities, it leads to compulsive eating habits that resemble drug addiction, the study found.”

Sounds foul, huh?  I mean I can’t say I’m totally surprised.  With growing obesity in America, levels of additives that are put into food, and the way we can’t help but daydream about yummy foods… something had to be wrong, right?

The article explains that the more junk food we eat, the more our brain normalizes the pleasure of eating fatty foods.  This is similar to the way our brains become dependent on the comfort of addictive drugs like cocaine.  When we overload our consumption, the part of our brain that processes pleasure also becomes overloaded, building a higher tolerance towards these substances.  This requires the body to consume more and more in order for the brain to acknowledge that it is receiving pleasure.

This is what makes people want to compulsively eat.  That heavenly piece of cheesecake, that cheesy slice of pizza, those bag of chips, or whatever your unhealthy food seduction may be.  The main focus becomes consuming what your mind sees as delicious food, regardless of pain, discomfort, or obesity.

It’s easier to consume these foods without thinking it’s a problem, because, hey everybody has to eat, right?  Eating is a daily activity and when we are hungry our brain shouts “FEED ME”.  We give it what it wants and it’s normal.  You go out of your way to buy and consume drugs, that are usually illegal and have a negative stigma attached.  Scary to think that they share the most important and dangerous part in common…

Dr.Gene-Jack Wang,  who is the chair of the medical department at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory says, “We make our food very similar to cocaine”.  Cocaine was used in the early centuries, but now the drug has been modified so it becomes a purified substance that effects the brain in a more severe way.  This process of altering natural substances into an unnatural and abusive form is compared to food.    Dr Wang describes modern purifying of food by stating, “Our ancestors ate whole grains, but we’re eating white bread. American Indians ate corn; we eat corn syrup.”

People try to but back on the “bad stuff”.  Dieting books, programs, weight loss supplements and forms of surgery have become a huge business in America within the past decade.  Usually people that try to lose weight feel like there is something psychologically and emotionally wrong with them, that makes them have an unhealthy relationship to food.  But no shit, the food that’s making people big is pretty much like crack!

Jeez, it all makes sense now.

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