Monday, March 29, 2010

Researchers: Food Addiction = Drug Addiction?

All I can say is, "Duh!" :-)

CNN: Fatty Foods May Cause Cocaine-Like Addiction
Scientists have finally confirmed what the rest of us have suspected for years: Bacon, cheesecake, and other delicious yet fattening foods may be addictive.

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.
Read the full story here.

This research might explain why I can only control myself around nuts if I buy a single serving. Nuts are healthy, but they are also high-fat and high-calorie and, based on anecdotal evidence, a notorious trigger food. Same with nut butters.

However, while there are some common "trigger foods" among compulsive eaters, some of us have really random triggers. For example, fiber cereal gets me every time.

In any event, science is telling me something very important here: Food addicts should probably avoid high-calorie, high-fat foods. For some of us, there is no moderation. According to this study, there aren't just the previously acknowledged emotional and genetic reasons for that; there are also hormonal reasons. Fascinating stuff.

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