We live in some interesting times…
With so many people being overweight and obese—and the multitude of diseases that can follow—the medical establishment is scrambling to find ways to get out from under this burden.
But, I’m afraid to say that much of it is going to be too late.
I mean, we’re already seeing generational obesity—meaning that this level of weight is epigenetic and, therefore, very difficult to change. And it could take several more generations to change back. (I’m not optimistic.)
But according to a new study, labeling a highly addictive FOOD that sabotages the health of billions could be a great place to start…
Just as addictive as tobacco
This is something I’ve been calling out for years… but did you know that ultra-processed foods (UPFs) meet the same criteria as tobacco for addiction?
In fact, the criteria used by the U.S. Surgeon General to establish the addictive potential of tobacco states:
- They trigger compulsive use
- They have psychoactive effects
- They reinforce habits
Hmm… all three can be applied just as easily to UPFs!
In fact, I’ve worked with overweight people my entire career and I can easily apply the hallmarks of addiction to their food habits…
They feel a loss of control, have intense cravings, and are unable to cut down consumption even despite the negative consequences.
So how can YOU break the addiction cycle when it comes to these hyperpalatable, toxic foods?
Well, I’m happy to report that low-carb dieting is emerging as a top contender.
Change your diet TODAY
Clinical psychologist Jen Unwin, PhD, from Southport, U.K., showed that a three-month online program of following a low-carb diet together with psycho-educational support significantly reduced food addiction symptoms among subjects. (Not all of whom were overweight or obese.)
And this certainly makes sense to me.
After all, lowering your carbohydrate intake decreases your food cravings in general—and your appetite.
Conversely, UPFs can rapidly deliver high doses of refined carbs and/or fat, which light up the pleasure centers in our brain. (This is similar to the response we see to highly addictive drugs, which is why users continue searching for that same “high.”)
Now, both tobacco and UPFs are legal, easily accessible, and inexpensive—and they don’t intoxicate users…
But they are MAJOR causes of preventable deaths.
In fact, UPFs contribute to just as many deaths as tobacco, yet only one product currently carries a warning label. Think about THAT the next time you reach for one of those “foods.”
Let me end with this…
Food addiction comes in all shapes and sizes. But given that food can either nourish us or kill us… I’d say changing your dietary habits is crucial to living a longer, healthier life.
So, avoid packaged, highly processed foods and stick to whole foods—like grass-fed and -finished meat, organic poultry, wild-caught fish and seafood, fresh produce, and nuts/seeds.
For more details, consider ordering yourself a copy of my A-List Diet book.
“Low carbohydrate and psychoeducational programs show promise for the treatment of ultra-processed food addiction.” Frontiers in Psychiatry, 2022. (frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2022.1005523/full)