A study by the University of Michigan proves what alternative health researchers have known all along – that highly processed foods are as addictive, if not more so, than hard drugs.
In Andrew Weil’s 1970’s book, ‘The Natural Mind’, he asserts that refined sugar triggers addictive behaviour in humans that mimic the behaviour of cocaine addicts.
Now in 2015 (over 40 years since the publication of that book) this new study says that “cheese really is crack“, and as the Los Angeles Times reported:
Pizza, unsurprisingly, came out on top of the most addictive food list. Besides being a basic food group for kids, college students and adults, there’s a scientific reason we all love pizza, and it has to do with the cheese.
The study found certain foods are addictive because of the way they are processed. The more processed and fatty the food, the more it was associated with addictive eating behaviors.
Even if you have never heard of Weil or this new study, you are likely already familiar with the addictive properties of food, especially gooey, fat, delicious cheese such as that found on top of pizzas, right? If not, perhaps you’re a soda pop junkie instead? We already know that the worst foods are the most addictive ones. It doesn’t take a fancy scientific study to tell us that.
Nevertheless, the findings are interesting. At least we now have somewhat of an excuse for obsessively stuffing our faces with Oreos, camembert or whatever our fix happens to be.
The conclusion of the report states:
The current study provides preliminary evidence that not all foods are equally implicated in addictive-like eating behavior, and highly processed foods, which may share characteristics with drugs of abuse (e.g. high dose, rapid rate of absorption) appear to be particularly associated with ‘food addiction.’
In other words, the highly processed foods work on our bodies in similar ways that addictive hard drugs do: they are absorbed into our bloodstreams quickly and in high doses, but do they actually give us a “rush” or a “high” similar to hard drugs?