There are many ridiculous myths in the food industry. Truth be told, sugar and highly processed junk food is more addictive than cocaine addiction.
Junk Foods fill the brain with dopamine
When we eat junk food, the brain indicates the release of the pleasure hormone dopamine. Intake of the drug cocaine floods the brain with dopamine which makes it act as “superstimuli”. This stimulus acts a stronger behavioral reinforce which makes the intake of cocaine addictive. Same is the case with sugar and highly processed junk food wherein they function as super stimuli and floods the brain with more dopamine than one would get by eating real food like an apple or an egg.
Junk Foods Can Lead to Powerful Cravings
Cravings and hunger are not the same things. People can get cravings even after finishing a nutritious and a hearty meal. Why? Simply because the brain drives the body towards that dopamine signal by acknowledging cravings as a ‘reward’.
Cravings are a common symptom in both the cases of junk foods and addictive drugs. They have little to do with actual hunger. The thought process and the obsessive nature involved in fulfilling this need is not natural and has got nothing to do with actual hunger.
When the brain gets flooded with dopamine, it starts reducing the dopamine receptors as a protective mechanism in order to keep things balanced. This is called as downregulation and the reason for the development of a tolerance level. So now, junk food consumers need larger doses of junk food because of the reduced number of receptors. This tolerance is one of the hallmarks of addiction common to both junk food and sugar.
Lab animals can switch easily from drugs to sugar and vice-versa.
This is known as cross-sensitization and is one another feature of addiction. Studies have shown that lab animals that are already dependent on sugar can easily switch to cocaine. This proves that sugar and junk foods are addictive in nature.
A very good example to support this claim is the Drug Contrave, which is FDA approved weight loss drug. Now, this drug is made up of Bupropion or Wellbutrin which is an anti-depressant and helps in removing nicotine addiction and Naltrexone which treats alcoholism and morphine addiction. This shows that the weight loss drugs can be used to fight addictions such as smoking and alcoholism with elan and food shares the same biological pathways as narcotics.
Abstaining Can Lead to Withdrawal Symptoms
Another feature of addiction is the withdrawal symptoms. Even in the case of caffeine withdrawal, a person gets headaches and becomes irritable is they abstain from coffee for long periods of time. The same theory applies to junk food as well. Common symptoms include teeth chattering and head shakes which are very similar to the withdrawal symptoms experienced from opiate addiction.
Junk Foods have a grave effect on the physical health
Junk food contains high levels of sugar and refined oils and at the same time very low amounts of healthy ingredients such as proteins or micronutrients. Junk foods are directly related to heart diseases, metabolic syndromes and type iii diabetes. But despite knowing this, people still consume junk food in excessive quantities. SO what makes them different from drug addicts who know that drugs do no good?
Do you agree with these 7 Similarities between Sugar; Junk Food and Abusive Drugs?
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