How many times have you said something like this, Man, these chips are addictive! I could eat a whole bag! Or, I’m totally hooked on pizza from that place. I’d eat there every day!
It might have thought you were exaggerating. But maybe not. New scientific research confirms that many of our favorite foods can be every bit as addictive as heroin or cocaine.
High-fat, high-sugar foods stimulate the same pleasure centers in the brain as hard drugs. The more we eat these treats, the more we crave them. Just like drug users, we can develop a tolerance to our favorite junk foods. As a result, we continue to gobble them down in search of our “high,” even after we feel physically full. This sort of over-indulgence isn’t limited to those who are overweight. People can have this unhealthy habit and maintain a reasonable weight.
Among the most addictive foods are:
- Ice Cream
- Sugared soda
- French Fries
- Fried Chicken
- Packaged cookies
No surprises there, right? How many of these do you eat on a regular basis? If you’re like most people, you probably have an occasional problem pushing away from some of these delights. But some people become truly food-addicted. The indicators of that condition are similar to alcohol or drug addition. Food addicts will prioritize eating over other activities they previously enjoyed or spending time with friends and family. They are willing to go out of their way to get a “fix” of a particular favorite, and often can’t control their consumption of particular foods, even when they are aware they are over-eating. Fortunately, there are proven treatments for food addiction.
I think this research is most valuable for reminding us that food, like most everything in life, is best enjoyed in moderation. My wife and I prioritize healthy eating in our family, but Lord, how we love the occasional dish of ice cream or cheeseburger! There’s nothing wrong with any of the foods on this list, so long as you keep it between the dietary ditches.