As strange as it may sound, food addiction is a real thing and can be a very real problem for some. This is because when we eat goods that are highly palatable, free-good chemicals in our brain, such as dopamine, are triggered, causing a euphoric-like feeling – and once you experience that feeling once, the brain quickly tells itself that it wants more of whatever’s making it feel that way. In this case, food – and people who are addicted to food have a hard time giving it up, similar to the way in which addicts are addicted to illicit drugs.
Now, that’s not to say that everything we eat is addicting. There are, however, certain foods that are more common culprits than others, including:
- French fries
- Ice cream
- Potato chips
- Fried chicken
Aside from being unhealthy for you to eat (despite tasting good), you’re probably wondering what it is about these foods that make them so addicting. The answer is because many of them are processed and contain high amounts fat and added sugar – which, again, releases that feel-good chemical called dopamine. So, the unhealthier foods you eat, the more of them you’ll want, which can have detrimental effects on your health. For example, having an unhealthy diet by eating foods that contain little to no nutritional value not only puts you at risk of heart disease, but it also puts you at risk of developing diabetes, as well as obesity – and, if you continue down a path of unhealthy eating, each of these conditions can be fatal if not managed properly by making crucial lifestyle changes, beginning with your diet – and eating healthy isn’t as difficult as it sounds.
To make healthier eating habits, focus on implementing foods that are healthier in your diet, rather than focusing on what you can’t or shouldn’t be eating. Foods that you should be consuming more of include:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
- Low-fat dairy products
- Whole grain foods
Among some of the healthiest fruits and vegetables are apples, oranges, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, carrots, cucumber, and onions. They’re high in vitamin C, K, fibre, potassium, and manganese, just to name a few; dairy products are good for you as they are rich in calcium, which is essential for bone health; while whole grains contain dietary fibre, which is helpful for reducing high cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease, as well as important for proper bowel function. Other foods, such as lean beef and chicken breast, are high in protein, while things like nuts and seeds are also loaded with nutrients – however, they can be high in fat so always eat them in moderation.