If you haven't read this article that was recently posted by CNN, check it out here. It is very interesting. Students at Connecticut College wanted to observe if Oreos were as addicting as drugs like cocaine and morphine. Scientists have already known for awhile that the same neurotransmitters are released as when you take drugs or eat an addicting food. But what could be categorized as an addicting food? Well as I discussed in a previous post, companies have so-called food scientists on the job to design foods that have the perfect ratio of salt, sugar, and fat and keep us coming back for more. Our brain has stronger taste buds than our tongues (in the literal sense). Why is this?
But now in our modern world, access to carbs is limitless! And this was the concern for the scientists in the study as well, "Even though we associate significant health hazards in taking drugs like cocaine and morphine, high-fat, high-sugar foods may present even more of a danger because of their accessibility and affordability."
Another interesting aspect about this study was that when the scientists observed the pleasure centers in the brain light up, the brain actually lit up more when rats were fed oreos than cocaine or morphine. This is a stunning realization that displays that "food" scientists are getting so good at their jobs they're basically selling legal crack on grocery shelves.
While this study was done on rats and isn't entirely applicable to humans, I have seen addiction to high sugar foods everywhere in my own life. When I was young, I could not resist eating desserts constantly. Then when I was about 12 years old, my cravings ended and I decided never to eat those desserts again. Now some nutritionists may tout the "everything in moderation" phrase, but I disagree. While I don't believe you should be on the other spectrum of extreme obsessiveness (trust me it can ruin your life!), I really dislike that phrase. It's like telling a drug addict, "Oh you do cocaine. Wow that's bad. Maybe you'd be better off if you only did it in moderation." Hmph. If you are overweight and addicted to foods, moderation is not possible! The foods should be cut out and healthier alternatives should be added in. There are plenty of ways to eat delicious and wholesome foods. If you don't believe me, just check out my recipe page! Eating wholesome foods (anything not packaged) in moderation is what I firmly believe in. As my favorite author Michael Pollan says, "Eat food (real food, at that). Not too much. Mostly plants."