Why You Crave Junk Food

And how to put a stop to it

Feeding potato chips to rats makes them want more, even when they are already full. Humans are remarkably similar. Open that bag and you know how it will end. Even so, go easy on yourself; you’re not weak, you’re normal. Your brain is responding the way it is programmed to respond. The trick is to short-circuit the system – the brain’s reward system.

Potato chips (or crisps, depending on where you live) are a typical snack food, one of many available to purchase at an outlet near you. The permutations of bagged snacks are boundless, but in essence they are all variations on the same theme: a refined carbohydrate, cooked in refined vegetable oil and with the addition of salt and/or sugar.

The moreish quality of these snacks has nothing to do with achieving satiety. A great deal of scientific know-how and financial investment goes into ensuring that they uniformly hit their target, that is, trigger the brain’s reward system.

It’s all about content, not calories. To encourage insatiable snacking, scientists have calculated the successful formula to be a 65% carbohydrate and 35% fat content. Foods that feature this winning combo are described in the business as “highly palatable”.

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Copyright © 2021 Maria Cross All rights reserved.

Image: Didgeman 2399/Pixabay


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