SPECIAL FROM Grandparents.com
Pizza. Chips. Soda. French fries. There are some foods we just can't get enough of.
And now groundbreaking science from the National Institute on Drug Addiction has shown that for some people, certain foods can hijack the brain's reward center and induce cravings for more. In other words, science is proving that food addiction is a real thing.
"These foods are called hyperpalatables, and are sugary/fatty/salty food and beverage combinations which are typically refined or processed products," says Dr. Pamela Peeke, M.D., author of "The Hunger Fix: The Three Stage Detox and Recovery Plan for Overeating and Food Addiction."
A recent study from the University of Michigan asked people assess their food habits using the Yale Food Addiction Scale, where participants score foods between 1 and 7 based on resistability (1 being the easiest to resist, 7 being the most difficult.) Here, the study's 9 most addictive foods:
Break the addictionStop your food addictions by trying the following:"Before eating/drinking what is in front of you, ask yourself these questions," says Dr. Peeke.
- If I eat this, will I feel loss of control?
- If I eat this, will I feel shame, blame and guilt?
"If the answer is yes to both—they go together most of the time—then say to yourself, 'Whatever is sitting in front of me doesn’t work for me.' This puts the power in your hands," she says. By giving yourself a minute to think about the foods, you're putting the item on a virtual shelf, and can substitute other, healthier items.
"It’s very important to get off the food/beverage product you crave in order to heal the brain’s reward center, quell cravings and manage how much food your eat," continues Dr. Peeke. There is a detox period which can be easier to go through if you switch out the hyperpalatables with healthy fixes. "For example, combinations of protein and fiber, such as celery sicks with peanut butter, satisfy and curb carb cravings," she says. Click here to read Dr. Peeke's other tips to kicking food addiction.
Read more from Grandparents.com:How to find an old friend7 ways to get the emotional support you need from friendsHow to cope with the death of a friend