Move over tobacco, there’s a “new” villain in town…
And research is finding it’s just as addictive.
Worse yet, it’s commonly consumed here in the U.S., despite reams of research showcasing how dangerous it is to our health.
Let me explain…
Exposing these foods for what they really are
I’ve explained here before that ultra-processed foods (UPFs) are hyperpalatable, meaning they’re designed to be unnaturally tasty.
Some believe they should even host a warning label. That’s because, according to a new study, they meet the same criteria as tobacco for addiction.
In fact, researchers believe UPFs quickly deliver high doses of refined carbs and/or fat, driving their potential for addiction.
And they note that continual indulgence is considered a hallmark of addictive behavior, along with “loss of control over intake, intense cravings, [and an] inability to cut down… despite negative consequences.”
In fact, UPFs can lead to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and more negative health effects. Yet, many folks—young and old—will indulge even when satiated.
So, how do we combat this problem? Well, the researchers also attempted to answer that question…
Upgrade your diet (and your support)
Food addiction does not yet have an official diagnosis. But it’s a thing… and UPFs are often to blame.
After all, they can give us a dopamine high—one of the chemicals designed to make us happy.
So, clinical psychologist Jen Unwin, PhD, from Southport, U.K., put together a three-month educational program about the benefits of a low-carb diet instead. She tied it together with psychoeducational support.
Ultimately, the program significantly REDUCED food addiction symptoms among participants.
And here’s something especially eye-opening: The contribution to preventable deaths by following a diet void of UPFs is comparable to that of ditching tobacco products!
This adds to the evidence that food addiction is real. (I’ve witnessed it firsthand in my three decades of seeing patients.) We just need to convince the powers-that-be.
But… I won’t hold my breath.
I mean, if you were to buy a pack of cigarettes across the pond, there would be a giant warning label with a sinister picture. The goal? To make consumers think twice about the product they’re buying… and hopefully, encourage them to quit.
Here in the U.S., we have a measly little label. So I can’t imagine we’ll see anything on deadly UPFs any time soon.
With that said, knowledge is power. Here again, a low-carbohydrate approach to eating was beneficial. (It helped combat UPF cravings.)
But the first step is recognizing that you have an unhealthy addiction to food, and UPFs in particular. If that sounds like you, there are a few things you can do…
You can seek psychoeducational support. And you might even consider giving my super-simple, seven day detox a try. Learn all about it in the January 2023 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives. If you’re not yet a subscriber, click here to learn about becoming one.
I also explain how to follow a high-fat, low-carb diet BEYOND those seven days. It’s easy—and delicious.
“Highly Processed Foods ‘as Addictive’ as Tobacco.” Medscape, 11/25/2022. (medscape.com/viewarticle/984600)