Why Junk Food Is So Addictive? Eating healthily is simple at its most basic level: consume real food and avoid junk food. Isn’t it easy to do? However, as you might expect, things aren’t always so straightforward. Why? Because junk food is purposefully designed to make you consume it, overeat it, and crave it more frequently. Many individuals find it difficult to say no to junk foods, even when they have the best of intentions since they are so addicting. The fact is that there are a variety of reasons why junk food is so addicting, but the information is power, and when you know more, you can avoid it more.
Why Junk Food Is So Addictive?
In recent years, the food industry has made more and more unhealthy foods available to the consumer. The processed food and fast food industries have profited from our fascination with sugar, salt, and fat, which are addictive because of their chemical taste and processing, thereby keeping us hooked. The ability to manufacture addictive foods and drugs has always been a basic human capability. The Ancient Egyptians developed a system that monitored each grain that was prepared or eaten in order to manipulate the taste experience. Slaves were bribed with food in order to induce drunkenness, for instance. And by 5,000 years ago, the Chinese had started producing opium.
The neurochemistry of addiction
You may be wondering: Why do certain foods and drinks make me feel good, and other foods and drinks make me feel bad? After all, you can’t very well eat healthy all the time and stay in shape! That’s why there are products on the market that claim to “get the good stuff out of junk food”, or to “help you lose weight while eating junk food”. (Those products are not true and they do not work.) But even though foods and drinks can change our emotions and our health, they can still make us feel good. Why?
Anyone who has studied neuroscience will know that the brain is the key to addiction, not just in terms of the physical experience of addiction, but also the psychological addiction that comes with it. Think of the brain as a computer: it controls the behavior of every single part of your body. Sucrose is the simplest form of sugar and one of the most common sugars in the American diet. In and of itself, sugar doesn’t actually trigger the brain’s reward system the way other forms of sugar do. Sugar is just sugar. But when the brain gets tricked into thinking it is getting a reward, it releases the reward chemical dopamine into the brain’s reward system, causing a surge of pleasure and energy.
Today, scientists have defined and diagnosed every major neuro-behavioral addiction and are building neuro-pharmaceuticals to treat them. New brain-biological treatments are being developed to curb addiction, treat its secondary consequences, and even keep it at bay. The psychological-biological processes of addiction are still unclear, but one thing is clear: high levels of dopamine in the brain play a major role in the development and maintenance of an addiction. Over time, the levels of dopamine in the brain increase, increasing the pleasurable sensation. The addict learns to seek and find higher concentrations of the substance of his or her choice to produce this same high, resulting in increased cravings.
How to avoid addiction?
Think about how much you enjoy junk food when you aren’t eating it. Put yourself in your victim’s shoes; every time you go to eat junk food, you know what you are doing is dangerous for your health, but you still can’t help yourself. The best way to avoid the craving is to stop eating it. When you are experiencing cravings for junk food, and you know the risks of eating it, stop what you are doing and find something healthy to replace it. You’ll feel less guilty and you’ll save yourself money and ensure you stick to your goals.
Moreover, avoid junk food when you’re not hungry. Ever wonder why diet soda tastes so much better than water? It’s because the water you’re drinking is delivering more and more hydration to your brain, causing your taste buds to activate. If you’re drinking diet soda, you’re eating way too many calories and you’re basically putting on liposuction! So go get a fresh glass of H20 and start making your body feel the benefits of drinking water.
Take a break from unhealthy foods. While it is almost impossible to eat unhealthily and not feel deprived when you do so, in the long run, skipping meals and losing weight are not advisable. Healthy foods are not calorie-less, they’re far from it. When you eat high-calorie foods, particularly during a fast (when you don’t eat for several hours), the body struggles to convert the food into energy. The human body needs a number of breaks throughout the day to adapt to the food you’ve just consumed. As well as this, your brain needs to learn to burn food and use it for energy. So, while it’s easy to lose weight when you restrict your diet, it is vital to eat healthily throughout the day, and that doesn’t mean low-calorie foods – so, ditch the cronuts.
When you’re eating too much junk food, you end up feeling full before you’re actually full, which defeats the purpose of eating anything. By eating when you’re full, you will also feel less tempted by junk food. Moreover, if you eat when you’re not hungry, you will be more likely to eat more junk food because of the reward associated with it. Cut out the junk food and foods you crave the most, and eat more foods you actually enjoy. When you eat too many foods, it causes your blood sugar to dip. By limiting snacks, you are less likely to eat junk food as a result, which will curb your cravings and save you from eating unhealthy foods in the first place.
Conclusion: Why Junk Food Is So Addictive
To make junk foods more addictive, food firms spend millions of dollars on research and marketing. These individuals aren’t bad; it’s just the realities of business and the current status of our food market. Nonetheless, that’s no reason to keep eating them. Treating yourself to a treat now and again is OK, but keep in mind that every time you buy these foods, you’re funding further research, development, and marketing for the same items that are already highly addictive. Those who suffer from severe food addiction should seek professional assistance, but those who do not are already in a strong position. So pay attention to how you spend and invest your money the next time you go food shopping since every purchase is a vote for what you want to see more of.