Natural News reports that “a plethora of recent data identifies junk food addiction as being just as serious as drug addiction. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), monosodium glutamate (MSG), hydrogenated oils, refined salt, and various other chemical preservatives found processed junk food does the same thing to a person’s brain as cocaine.
“The data is so overwhelming the field has to accept it,” said Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)… “We are finding tremendous overlap between drugs in the brain and food in the brain.”
“Researchers identified a similarity in dopamine production levels between drug addicts and junk food addicts. Addiction to either one essentially cause the brain receptors that receive dopamine signals to lose their responsiveness. As a result, addicts require increasing amounts of the addictive substance to receive the same level of satisfaction.”
Read the whole article at: www.naturalnews.com/034478_junk_foods_addictive_brain-chemistry.html
I can so relate to these studies. I have had several bouts of specific food addictions. For instance, for a few months I had a very serious Sour Patch Kids addiction. Do you know Sour Patch Kids? They are little packages of sugar, corn syrup and citric acid yumminess. (There’s a whole website dedicated to how toxic they are here.)
Every morning I would stop to buy a cup of tea on my way to work. The deli carried Sour Patch Kids in clear 12 oz. cups. Each morning I would tell myself that I was just going to get tea, and not buy any candy. Then I would convince myself that just one cup would be ok, because I was going to make it last all week. I would eat a few as soon as I got to work, but then virtuously put them in my desk drawer. Mid-afternoon, I would be getting sleepy so I would rationalize that a few more would help me do my work better. Somehow by the end of the day they were always gone. I felt gross inside, sick to my stomach. I would vow that this was the last time. After all, I love myself and don’t want to treat my body that way, right?
I was able to beat my Sour Patch Kids addiction by getting a different job that didn’t take me down the street with the candy store on it. But I spent many years punishing myself with food. My recovery from food addiction has taken a combination of a lot of emotional and spiritual work and finding a diet that both nourishes me and allows my body/mind/spirit to function properly. I notice that when there is a lot of stress and drama going on in my life I still have a tendency to crave wheat and sugar. But I know that some fresh fruit and some healthy fat (like a smoothie with coconut oil) will not leave me feeling yucky and empty and still unsatisfied. It will leave me feeling full, joyful, and connected. I bet your diet soda and chips don’t do that!