Can you be addicted to unhealthy food?

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Nobody can eat just one.   You may have experienced the addictiveness to potato chips, pretzels, and many other junk foods. Processed foods have been broken down and then reformed into these foods that are calorie and carbohydrate-rich while being bad for our long-term health. The American diet is estimated to be dominated by these foods resulting in type 2 diabetes, and many other health problems that are common in the USA. Many foods in their natural unprocessed state come wrapped in fiber which slows the absorption of sugars.  Broken down, these products enter our bodies much more quickly. Examples of this could include apples, celery, carrots, and many other foods.   When these foods are broken down and juiced, the nutrients lose their fiber and sugars are in a much larger concentration. Processed foods have these products broken down as well, along with other unhealthy ingredients when they are produced. Certain foods in a recent study were especially likely to elicit “addictive-like” eating behaviors, such as intense cravings, a loss of control, and an inability to cut back despite experiencing harmful consequences, and a strong desire to stop eating them. The Yale Addiction scale, developed by Dr. Gearhardt, a clinical psychologist helps us understand which foods are most addictive. Check out this article from the NY Times

Unhealthy Foods Aren’t Just Bad For You, They May Also Be Addictive

Food researchers debate whether highly processed foods like potato chips and ice cream are addictive, triggering our brains to overeat.

By Anahad O’Connor Feb. 18, 2021 Five years ago, a group of nutrition scientists studied what Americans eat and reached a striking conclusion: More than half of all the calories that the average American consumes comes from ultra-processed foods, which they defined as “industrial formulations” that combine large amounts of sugar, salt, oils, fats, and other additives. Highly processed foods continue to dominate the American diet, despite being linked to obesity, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and other health problems. They are cheap and convenient and engineered to taste good. They are aggressively marketed by the food industry. But a growing number of scientists say another reason these foods are so heavily consumed is that for many people they are not just tempting but addictive, a notion that has sparked controversy among researchers. Read more