We all eat unhealthy foods… sometimes.
But to be addicted is another story. Some foods are a losing battle, as their chemical composition urges you to eat and crave more and more, loading on the sugar and calories. Here are 5 highly addictive foods to limit, alter, or stay away from altogether.
Oreos. Or Chips Ahoy or Cheez-Its, or really any other processed cookie or baked good. Blame your inability to eat just one serving on the high amount of high-fructose corn syrup in these products. High quantities of high-fructose corn syrup act like a drug in your brain, eerily similar to cocaine, and is a heavyweight contributor in the global obesity epidemic. If you are going to eat cookies, buy from a reputable bakery or bake them at home so you can control the quantity and quality of everything that goes in.
Caffeinated soda. Welcome to the land of high-fructose corn syrup and caffeine! Itís a perfect storm of chemicals to induce a highly unnatural energy high. Sodas like Coca-Cola are highly addicting because they induce a surge of feel-good energy and overload of sweetness. Letís not forget that these sodas contain far more than your RDA of sugar at 200 calories a pop! Drink one, crave more. Over the long term, this helpless cycle of high consumption leads to obesity and physical and mental disease. Opt for more natural options without caffeine and high-fructose corn syrup, or try a refreshing glass of coconut water or fruit infused seltzer.
White bread. White bread is pure, high GI sugar. There is little fiber to slow down its absorption into the bloodstream, so youíll be on a little feel-good sugar high for a bit. Unfortunately, once the body is on a high, it wants more of it, so you eat more and more of those tasty dinner rolls in a perpetual urge for satisfaction. All the while, youíll be expanding your waistline and spoiling your healthy dinner. Go for whole grains and remember that wheat is not the only grain out there. Try quinoa, spelt or millet in your weekly loaf.
Chips & fries. These 2 iterations of fried potatoes go hand in hand. Salty, greasy, and loaded with high glycemic carbs, fried white potato is a hard habit to break. But, perhaps thinking about it in these terms will help: The same gene group that regulates your salt appetite actually regulates cocaine addiction.†Save traditional chips and fries for special occasions, and instead go for baked vibrant sweet potatoes paired with protein for a richer antioxidant profile and a lower GI.
Ice cream. If you are in the habit of buying a couple of pints of ice cream at the supermarket every week, it might be time to quit that habit. Most supermarket brands are loaded with high-fructose corn syrup, low quality dairy ingredients, and are lacking in flavor. With all of the sugar in these cartons, it is far too easy to eat more than the recommended half cup serving. Save ice cream as a treat from your favorite local shop, or, even more exciting, try making your own. Some stand mixers have ice cream-maker attachments that work wonders. Coconut milk ice cream sweetened with fresh berries, raw honey, and vanilla anyone?
Banish those addictions. The inner labyrinth of the supermarket is loaded with these deceptive delights. Avoid them, and try to cut high-fructose corn syrup and highly refined carbs from your diet completely. Youíll soon notice your incessant, insatiable cravings diminish. Plus, youíll feel great by turning to pure, whole foods in their stead.
What highly addictive junk food do you have a weakness for?