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  • Is Food Addictive?A Scientific Analysis Of YOUR DietCasey ThalerB.A., NASM-CPT, FNSMolecular StructureOf Caffeine(1,3,7 Trimethylxanthine)>


  • Ill Save You Some TimeYes, food is addictive.

    Junk food is food of little or no nutritional value that is high in fat, sugar, and calories. In addition, consumption of junk food has the ability to alter brain activity in a manner similar to illegal drugs like cocaine or heroin, meaning it can be just as addictive. Junk food does not contain nutrients that are beneficial to the human body. In most cases, these foods are filled with harmful carbohydrates, fats and cholesterol that do not provide any useful energy. As a result, somebody consuming junk food has reduced levels of essential nutrients thereby causing weakness in the body. This is why the addictive nature of these foods is even more problematic.

    Junk foods have been identified as a major cause of heart diseases including myocardial infraction, cardiac arrest and atherosclerosis. This is due to the fact that junk food contains excessive amounts of low-density lipoproteins and cholesterol that get deposited on the inner linings of blood vessels. Overall, junk food is very bad for your body and should not be eaten frequently.

    Youth, Puffa. "P.U.F.F.A Youth." P.U.F.F.A Youth: The Scary Story of Junk Food. N.p., 11 Apr. 2014. Web. 11 Apr. 2014. .Rats given extended access to high-fat high-sugar food show behavioral and physiological changes that are similar to those caused by drugs of abuse.

    Johnson and Kenny examined rats using behavioral models borrowed from drug-addiction research, but, instead of being given access to cocaine or heroin, the rats were given access to a cafeteria-style diet of energy-dense (high fat and/or high carbohydrate) food, including bacon, sausage, cheesecake, pound cake, frosting and chocolate. The diet had two behavioral effects that were similar to those of exposure to addictive drugs.

    Epstein DH, Shaham Y. Cheesecake-eating rats and the question of food addiction. Nat Neurosci. 2010;13(5):529-31.


  • The Longer VersionCertain compounds in food are chemically rewarding.

    Drug addicts are addicted to drugs. Obese people are addicted to food.

    The advent of agriculture, which caused the creation of our Neolithic foods, could possibly be explained due to the rewards found in these then-novel food sources.

    Rada P, Avena NM, Hoebel BG. Daily bingeing on sugar repeatedly releases dopamine in the accumbens shell. Neuroscience. 2005;134(3):737-44.Avena NM, Bocarsly ME, Hoebel BG, Gold MS. Overlaps in the nosology of substance abuse and overeating: the translational implications of "food addiction". Curr Drug Abuse Rev. 2011;4(3):133-9.These unsolved and until-now unrelated problems may in fact solve each other. The answer, we suggest, is this: cereals and dairy foods are not natural human foods, but rather are preferred because they contain exorphins. This chemical reward was the incentive for the adoption of cereal agriculture in the Neolithic. Regular self-administration of these substances facilitated the behavioural changes that led to the subsequent appearance of civilisation.Wadley G, Martin A. The origins of agriculture: a biological perspective and a new hypothesis. Australian Biologist 6: 96-105, June 1993.


  • Not JUST The Foods You Think Molecular Structure Of Gliadorphin(Opioid Peptide Found In Wheat)Molecular Structure Of Casomorphin(Opioid Peptide Found In Dairy)


  • Your Brain And Reward

    Lawrence NS, Hinton EC, Parkinson JA, Lawrence AD. Nucleus accumbens response to food cues predicts subsequent snack consumption in women and increased body mass index in those with reduced self-control. Neuroimage. 2012;63(1):415-22.

    Nucleus Accumbens

    The brain regions involved in the sensation of pleasure and reward are among those most affected by drugs.

    The nucleus accumbens, together with the ventral tegmental area, constitutes the central link in the reward circuit. The nucleus accumbens is also one of the brain structures that is most closely involved in drug dependency.

    The nucleus accumbens appears to be involved in controlling our motivations. Also, the frequent consumption of a drug is known to tremendously increase the amount of the main neurotransmitter in this part of the brain, dopamine. We can therefore better understand the drug addicts obsessive drive to keep seeking more of the drug.

    Available at: Accessed April 11, 2014.


  • Nucleus Accumbens And Food

    Hedonic over-consumption contributing to obesity involves altered activation within the mesolimbic dopamine system. Dysregulation of dopamine signaling in the nucleus accumbens shell (NAS) has been implicated in reward-seeking behaviors, such as binge eating.

    Halpern CH, Tekriwal A, Santollo J, et al. Amelioration of binge eating by nucleus accumbens shell deep brain stimulation in mice involves D2 receptor modulation. J Neurosci. 2013;33(17):7122-9.


  • Sugar: The Addictive Model


  • Types Of Sugar

    GlucoseFound in plants, also known as dextrose. Every cell in the body can use it.Sucrose(Glucose + Fructose)AKA table sugar, cane sugar, beet sugar, usually just sugar.FructoseAll forms, including fruits and juices, are commonly added to foods and drinks for palatability and taste enhancement, and for browning of some foods, such as baked goods.High Fructose Corn Syrup(42% Glucose + 55% Fructose)Mostly used in soft drinks, processed foods, cereals, and baked goods.


  • Sugar Is Sugar Is Sugar.Available at: Infographics/bloodstream.png?width=886&height=1081&ext=.png. Accessed April 12, 2014.1. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and sucrose (table sugar) are both processed IDENTICALLY by the body.

    2. HFCS is NOT worse than table sugar.

    3. HFCS and table sugar are BOTH equally bad.


  • Fructose = Problematic

    Fructose is mostly processed by the GLUT5 receptor in the liver.

    It does not raise insulin levels, reduces leptin, and increases trigylcerides.

    Your body has no use for it.

    It leads to overeating, due to lack of satiety signal to hypothalamus.Page KA, Chan O, Arora J, et al. Effects of fructose vs glucose on regional cerebral blood flow in brain regions involved with appetite and reward pathways. JAMA. 2013;309(1):63-70.Lustig RH. Fructose: metabolic, hedonic, and societal parallels with ethanol. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010;110(9):1307-21.Teff KL, Elliott SS, Tschp M, et al. Dietary fructose reduces circulating insulin and leptin, attenuates postprandial suppression of ghrelin, and increases triglycerides in women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004;89(6):2963-72.


  • High Fructose Foods

    Available at: Accessed April 12, 2014.


  • High Fructose Foods - Contd

    Available at: Accessed April 12, 2014.


  • Fructose - Found In Fruit

    Available at: Chart (fruit sugars).tiff. Accessed April 12, 2014.


  • How Sweet It Is

    Pure fructose (such as the kind found in fruit) is 40% SWEETER than table sugar, which is already 50% fructose.

    HFCS is 20%-60% SWEETER than table sugar, which is again, already 50% fructose.

    Glucose, which is found in plants and partially in some fruits, is NOT the baseline measurement used. It is actually 20-30% LESS SWEET than the baseline measurement, sucrose.Available at: Accessed April 12, 2014.


  • Artificially Sweet

    Artificial sweeteners are WORSE than table sugar (remember - that is 1/2 glucose and 1/2 fructose) in regards to how hyper-palatable they are.

    Neotame is actually 13,000x sweeter (!) than table sugar.

    Available at: Accessed April 12, 2014.Available at: Accessed April 12, 2014.


  • No, Stevia Is Not Better

    Available at: Accessed April 12, 2014.Yang Q. Gain weight by "going diet?" Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings: Neuroscience 2010. Yale J Biol Med. 2010;83(2):101-8.


  • Diet Sweeteners Actually Make You Fatter

    Yang Q. Gain weight by "going diet?" Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings: Neuroscience 2010. Yale J Biol Med. 2010;83(2):101-8.


  • How Does Food Addiction Work?

    Yang Q. Gain weight by "going diet?" Artificial sweeteners and the neurobiology of sugar cravings: Neuroscience 2010. Yale J Biol Med. 2010;83(2):101-8.Food reward consists of two branches: sensory and postingestive. In humans, gustatory information perceived by taste receptors on the tongue ascends through the thalamus and eventually terminates in the anterior insula/frontal operculum and the orbitofrontal cortex.

    Amygdala makes reciprocal connections along all levels of the gustatory pathway.

    Mesolimbic dopamine system is also crucial for the hedonic recognition of the stimulus and feeling of satisfaction following ingesting food with pleasant tastes.


  • Bet You Cant Eat JUST One!

    We live in a world where food chemists make foods ADDICTIVE for more consumption.-Dr. Mathieu Lalonde, Ph.D, Organic