According to a recent study, eating foods with a high glycemic index like pasta and white bread activates a part of the brain associated with addiction. This may explain why you eat half the contents of the potato chip bag when you sit down to have “a snack.”
Scientists Find Out Why You Can’t Put Down a Bag of Chips
Published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the study consisted of monitoring the brain activity of participants for four hours following the consumption of a meal. Researchers discovered that processed carbohydrate foods like white bread and chips activated an area of the brain involved with reward and cravings. The findings indicate that the addictive nature of certain foods is not due to taste preferences but is caused by the way in which they affect the brain. This effect implies the physical cravings are similar to that experienced in cigarette smoking.
Junk Food Makes You Feel Hungrier
But the bad news doesn’t stop there. In addition to watching brain activity following a meal, the scientists in the study also monitored blood glucose and hunger of the participants. They found high glycemic foods decreased blood glucose and increased hunger.
So in light of the new study, it appears that aside from leading to weight gain through its high-caloric content, junk food also leads to weight gain by addiction and by increasing hunger. These foods makes people want to eat more and more, abandoning restraint in regard to portion control.
Nutrition Expert Compares the Brain’s Addictive Response to Sugar with That of Cocaine
Live in the Now sought the input of Michael Wald, M.D., Supervisor of Nutrition at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco in Mount Kisco, New York. “Overall, this research has revealed that sugar and sweet reward can not only be comparable to addictive drugs like cocaine but can even be more rewarding and attractive,” he says. “At the neurobiological level, the link between the neural substrates of sugar and sweet reward appear to be more robust than the link between cocaine and sweet reward. This biological robustness may be sufficient to explain why many people can have difficulty in limiting their portion size to a prudent amount when they consume foods high in sugar.”
How a person thinks about food like chips affects addictive neurobiological responses, Wald adds. “In other words, it is not only the food itself triggering addictive chemistry but the thoughts about the food can also contribute to the addiction by activating and/or reinforcing the chemically addictive brain chemistry.”
When asked about the portion of the study associating high-glycemic foods with increased hunger, Wald explains that when you eat sugar, it quickly crosses the brood brain barrier and signals to the brain, “feed me.” A diet high in sugar or a diet involving moderate but frequent sugar intake teaches the brain to want to eat more often, he notes.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.
According to two cancer researchers interviewed by a highly esteemed newspaper, the verdict is in: Eating sugar can cause cancer. For decades, alternative medicine experts have been warning cancer patients to give up sugar. While the traditional medical community at large as well as the mainstream media does not hold to this view, more voices are being raised in concern as research increasingly shows an association between sugar and cancer.
A Mainstream Journalist Investigates the Toxicity of Sugar
One such voice is Gary Taubes, a journalist with The New York Times, whose in-depth investigation exploring the toxic effects of sugar found that it could sometimes induce insulin resistance. This effect is the fundamental problem underlying several maladies and may even be the instigator in many cancers. His scientific sources said if sugar is proven to be the agent causing insulin resistance, “the conclusion is hard to avoid that sugar causes cancer — some cancers, at least.”
Eating Sugar Increases Insulin, Which Feeds Cancer
Sugar appears to wield a two-edged sword. One side of the sword is that its consumption sometimes causes insulin resistance, a state that can cause cancer. The other side of the sword is that sugar causes your body to release insulin, a substance that feeds cancer.
Taubes spoke with Craig Thompson, President of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, who explained that the cells of many human cancers are dependent upon insulin to provide them with the fuel they need to grow. Many precancerous cells would not turn into malignant tumors if they were not being affected in such a manner by insulin, notes Thompson. “I have eliminated refined sugar from my diet and eat as little as I possibly can because I believe ultimately it’s something I can do to decrease my risk of cancer,” he says.
The other prominent scientist interviewed by Taubes was Lewis Cantley, director of the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School. Cantley relayed that as much as 80 percent of human cancers are driven by mutations or environmental factors that mimic or enhance the effect of insulin on tumor cells. In describing how he feels about the link between sugar and cancer he simply says, “Sugar scares me.”
The Link Between Sugar and Cancer Continues to Grow Stronger
Taubes’ investigative report was published in 2011, yet the evidence linking sugar with cancer continues to mount. In an August 1, 2013 issue of Cell, scientists studying fruit flies found that a high dietary intake of sugar caused localized tumors to grow aggressively and metastasize. The conclusion was that sugar fueled the activation of malignancies.
In September 2013, a research group of scientists working in tandem from opposite sides of the globe uncovered another fact incriminating sugar with cancer. Their finding builds on the discovery made in 1982 by American doctor Georg F. Springer that a certain sugar molecules are plentiful in cancer cells. Researchers from Singapore and the University of Copenhagen found that these types of sugar molecules are not only present in cancer but they actually aid the growth of malignant cells, causing the cancer to spread faster.
Since scientists are discovering how sugar affects human physiology, the admonitions to avoid it are no longer strictly confined to natural health practitioners. Although most allopathic practitioners currently do not condemn the judicious use of sugar, that stance may change in the future as researchers amass evidence of its toxicity.
Imagine you are driving to work one morning and a child suddenly darts out into the street in front of your car. Believe it or not, what you ate for breakfast that morning can influence how fast you hit the breaks. Once again, science proves you are what you eat, as a new study provides yet more evidence that food influences behavior.
In the study conducted at Leiden University and the University of Amsterdam, scientists discovered that your tyrosine intake may help you stop more quickly and perhaps prevent an accident. Lead author Lorenza Colzato and her team designed a test to measure the ability to stop an activity in an instant. They asked participants to look at a computer screen and press a button as soon as possible when a green arrow appeared. Additionally, the button they chose had to match the same direction the arrow was pointing.
Before one test session the participants were given orange juice containing tyrosine, while before another test session they were given orange juice without it. They reacted faster after they had consumed the tyrosine-laced juice.
Can Tyrosine Improve Your Intellect?
According to Colzato, the answer is yes. Tyrosine can not only help improve road safety but also boost your intellectual capacity, she says. It is much preferable to using Ritalin and Modafinil, drugs students take to help them perform better in school, Colzato adds.
Food sources of tyrosine include spinach, eggs, cottage cheese, avocados, bananas, peanuts, turkey and chicken. Those who don’t consume enough of these foods in their diet may produce too little dopamine and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters that boost energy, mood and alertness when they are together. These chemicals help prevent depression and apathy.
So if you feel in need of a little mental boost, a nice spinach omelet may be just what the doctor ordered.
15 Mins Bike (5 ” warm-up,5x 1″ Intervals), 4 x 25 Squats,3 x 20 Leg Extensions & Contractions
5 X 1″ bike, 11 x 2″ Elliptical