The following post may explain in part the possibility of food addiction, a highly controversial topic especially when it comes to processed foods.
Perhaps it is best explained by this excerpt from Michael Moss, Salt, Sugar, Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us.
” The blood gets especially besieged when processed food is ingested, flooding the system with its heavy loads of salt, sugar, and fat…, there, narcotics and food…act much alike. Once ingested, they race along the same pathways, using the same neurological circuity to reach the brain’s pleasure zones, those areas that reward us with enjoyable feelings for doing the right thing by our bodies. Or, as the case may be, for doing what the brain has been led to believe is the right thing.”
The following link provides us with a video (suggested (13 min.) and the text of a recent TED talk. Interesting analysis.
According to a study carried out by researchers at the University of Sao Paolo, almost 60% of the calories Americans consume each day comes from ultra-processed food.
All foods are processed to some extent. The main problem in the Standard American Diet (SAD), is the high percentage of ultra-processed foods.
What is an ultra-processed food? It’s foods that contain additives like food coloring, synthetic coloring, artificial sweeteners, preservatives, chemicals that give food texture, as well as taboo additives like partially hydrogenated oils. Ultra-processed foods are also typically high in sodium, sugar, and calories. Just read the ingredient list on the food labels (if you have time) and you will soon realize many of these additives are currently in our food supply.
When discussing the Standard American Diet, diet advice keep emphasizing what not to eat and ignores the more important aspects of a healthy diet, in other words, what to eat. This article addresses a more detail about how the SAD may be killing us, not only in our country but how it affects other countries when their populations adopt more Western ways of eating and often stray from their traditional diets.
“Nobody disagrees: We Americans eat badly. We eat too many calories, too much highly processed food and not nearly enough vegetables.
Why is that? Ask the question, and you get a lot of answers, which is appropriate for a matter as complex as a country’s diet. But one of the answers that bubbles to the top almost every time is that nutritious food just costs more.” But does it?
Another factor that has affected our eating behavior more recently is “Where do Americans Eat?” Another factor is flavor, taste. Please read the Comments at the end of the article – they are always interesting and straight from the consumer’s standpoint.