We all know the problem! A donut or chocolate bar not only tastes better than an apple – they make us happier. Here you can find out where this fast food vicious circle comes from, how it works and how you can break it.
We finally have an answer to the question: Why is it so difficult to keep your hands off industrially processed snacks and foods?
As the British online magazine “medicalnewstoday.com” reports, scientists from Germany, Switzerland, America and Canada have discovered the secret attraction. It looked at what foods high in carbohydrates and high in fat, as well as foods that contain both in abundance, do in the brain.
This salad is delicious, light and guaranteed not to be fast food!
That’s why we love to eat fast food
The result is amazing: people are intuitively very good at appreciating the nutritional value of foods with a high carbohydrate content or a high fat content. However, humans tend to grossly overestimate the nutritional value of foods that contain both.
This means that industrially manufactured fast food, which has very high levels of carbohydrates and fats, makes us feel like they are nutritionally high. That is of course a fallacy! Industrially produced foods contain almost no vitamins, minerals and fiber.
It’s in the brain
Dana Small at Yale University’s Modern Diet and Physiology Research Center in New Haven, Connecticut, has an explanation for this failure: The biological process that regulates the association of foods with their nutritional value was developed, to define the value of a food. However, this association could change through adaptation.
This process actually serves to enable humans to make a kind of cost-benefit assessment so that they do not expose themselves to unnecessary danger for food with low nutritional value. A new study has now been published in the magazine “Cell Metabolism”, which shows that this cost-benefit estimate has now come to malfunction.
The experiment went as follows: A standardized breakfast was served to hungry participants. After three hours, the subjects underwent an MRI scan while bidding for various snacks.
The measurements showed: The combination of fat and carbohydrates causes a significantly higher reward reaction in the brain than foods that either have a high carbohydrate content or a high fat content.
We’ll tell you here which unhealthy foods you should really avoid!
You should really avoid these 7 unhealthy foods
Eating something unhealthy every now and then is not a big deal. However, there are some foods that are best avoided altogether. Yes, that includes fries, we’re sorry.
Fast food is a reward for the brain
This is supported by the fact that two regions of the brain associated with reward mechanisms were particularly active in foods with a high carbohydrate and fat content. This was also expressed in the fact that the participants were willing to pay more money from their limited budget for the snacksthat were high in carbohydrates and fats.
Dana Small found it very interesting that the participants were able to estimate the calories of fatty foods very precisely, but the estimate for foods with carbohydrates was very poor. Was it about estimating the caloric value of fast food?who had a high fat and carbohydrate content, the participants shot far beyond the target.
Our brain is not yet able to correctly assess industrially manufactured foods
These results lead Small and her colleagues to conclude that our brains have not yet had enough time to get used to the new foods. Due to the combination of high levels of fat and carbohydrates, the brain signals high nutritional value, as this combination is rare in nature, but very nutritious and also contains fiber.
However, today’s reality is different. The food industry is tricking our brains into something and is damaging our health. The combination of a lot of fat and a lot of carbohydrates makes our inner bell ring, which says: “Eat this! It has a high nutritional value, gives a lot of energy and is therefore good for your health! ” Unfortunately this is not the truth and so we are fooled every day.
Can anything be done about these deceptions?
The only thing that can help with regard to this mechanism is a comprehensive education and a strong will. You cannot stop your brain’s reactions to supposedly valuable food. The unconscious desire and urge for industrially produced fast food will make life difficult for us for a long time to come.
A good start could be a kind of self-conditioning: You have to keep reminding yourself that these food imitations only harm you and link negative emotions with it. At the same time, you can trim your reward system to include fresh fruit.
Craving for sweets or digestive problems – bitter substances could mean the solution to all of these problems. Here you can shop the innovative “Bitterliebe” solution against the desire for sweets.