Do you have that one food or that one drink that you just can’t live without?
Have you thought about giving it up, or know that the right thing to do is to give it up but just haven’t?
Have you rationalized that it's your life and you should make the most of it and enjoy those foods or drink?
Don’t all these situations sound like an addiction?
That’s because it is. Food, mainly carbohydrates, which made up of sugar, are the most addictive drug on the planet.
Nobody craves that 2nd or 3rd piece of chicken. Most people crave that 2nd and 3rd piece of cake.
Google the definition of drug and this is what you will find:
“a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.”
Why do we crave carbohydrates?
Because they spike insulin levels and release of glucose into the blood. They get us high! And, the more we eat them the more we need to feel that high.
Again, sound familiar to drugs?
Let's get one thing straight. All food increases insulin levels. But carbohydrates more so than any other. The increase in glucose in the blood is what gives us that high feeling. But, insulin levels are not the only thing to be aware of when we eat these foods or drinks.
When it comes to carbohydrates, fructose is the worst offender as it can only be metabolized by the liver, whereas glucose can be used by practically every cell in the body for energy.
Now, you may be thinking that fructose is sugar found in fruit. And you would be correct. But, it is also found in high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), something that has been used more and moreover the past several decades. As our consumption of HFCS has increased, so has the rate of obesity. Why? Because any excess fructose is immediately broken down into fat by the liver. High levels of fructose will cause fatty liver and fatty liver causes insulin resistance.
It is a vicious cycle. Just as it takes a cocaine addict more and more to feel the same high, the body requires more and more carbohydrates to feel that same way.
So, if we are still eating or drinking something that we think we could give up any time and we know its not good for us, it may be a little more difficult than you think. Food addiction is real, and if you cannot stop a behavior, it is likely that it has a hold on you.
To try and kick it, change habits. If you know you always get a soda if you go to a certain place, find a new place to go. If you know that if you have a shared kitchen at work and every time you go in there there’s donuts you can’t say no to, don’t go in there. Take a snack, chew gum, find a new habit that will take your mind off the old one.
Food addiction is tough because it is legal, readily available, and advertised more than anything else. Carbohydrates are in our face 24/7. Advertisers know the addictiveness of these foods and drinks and are playing it against us.
As always, if anyone would like to sit down and discuss any of these issues or anything else nutritionally please let us know. We know how hard it is to kick these issues and we want to help in any way we can.