Food addiction is a contemporary term used to refer to compulsive overeating. This abnormal food intake can be directly attributed to one's brain chemistry. People suffering from this pathological disorder have hormonal and neurochemical imbalances that trigger these cravings.
What is the real cause behind food addiction?
The phenomenon of food addiction is more of a psychological problem rather than a physiological one. Even with the full knowledge of the effects of this destructive behavior, an individual suffers from loss of self control.
A change of diet can also lead to this condition. When you ban certain foods from your diet, you might end up craving for them. A change in eating habits may also increase your chances of suffering from this condition. For example, if you were used to eating dessert after dinner, a sudden crave may take effect once you stop. Low self-esteem can also be linked to food addiction in selected cases.
Which Foods lead to addiction?
Chocolate contains four key chemical substances namely phenyethylamine, theobromine, tryptophan and anandamide. These substances mimic the drug effect to one's brain thus leading to addiction.
Processed cheese usually contains opiates. This is a highly addictive morphine that leaves most cheese consumers craving for more. Research has also found established that casein (the main protein in cheese) also produces casomorphins which is also a highly addictive substance.
Sugar also includes addictive substances. A study at Princeton University on rats has shown that sugar changes the chemical compounds in the brain. Once consumed, sugar leads to the production of opoids which may cause one to overly rely on it.
Junk foods such as chips and burgers also cause food addiction. These foods usually contain a combination of salt, sugar and fat which according to scientists at Scripps Research centre based in Florida can lead to an addictive response.
Beware of the catchy advertising phrases
Catchy food adverts usually include images of attractive models eating, powerful consumption cues and positive emotions associated with food consumption. The message conveyed on the TV screen is usually very powerful to the point of leading many people into consuming unhealthy foods and beverages. Recent studies indicate that people exposed to more TV adverts tend to suffer more from food addiction than those who are not. The relationship between catchy food related ads and food addiction is very direct.
How to resist Food Addiction
The first step in the prevention of food addiction is self discipline. Without discipline, it will be very difficult for you to avoid the temptation to overeat certain foods. Secondly, it is also important to identify particular foods to avoid. Look for other healthy alternatives to replace them. Be very selective and take everything in moderation. Finally, engage in constructive activities such as exercising to avoid idleness, boredom and too much TV.
Hopefully, with the tips discussed above, you'll be in a position to concur food addiction. In case you still find the going getting tough, consult your dietician for further assistance.
About the author:
This article is written by Danny Duric who writes for a free online healthcare booking service, where Australians are able to book doctors appointments online.