Thursday, March 12, 2015

Foods as Addictive Substances

The American Medical Association does not yet have a specific diagnosis for “food addiction.” That may be going changing. Neal D. Barnard, M.D. wrote an interesting article about foods as addictive substances. Here is an excerpt: Recently conducted, but previously unpublicized studies suggest that cheese, chocolate, sugar, and meat all spark the release of opiate-like substances that trigger the brain’s pleasure center and seduce us into eating them again and again. Cheese is an especially interesting case. In our own research studies at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, we’ve noticed that participants moving to a vegetarian diet have a harder time giving up cheese than almost any other food. In fact, cheese’s popularity may have less to do with its meltability and mouth-feel and more to do with its addictive qualities.

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