Our Carb Addiction?

pizza

This is an interesting radio interview that looks at the addictive nature of processed carbs. If you struggle with weight control then it is likely that you eat too many processed carbs – that is why we suggest completely eliminating bread, pasta, cereals, fruit juices, soft drinks and all added sugar. For many people these processed carbs are simply too addictive. Carbs from fresh fruits and vegetables, in their natural state, are less addictive. If you have a craving for something sweet try a piece or two of +70% dark chocolate which has the added benefit of being high in magnesium!

Our Carb Addiction?

When we think of addiction, a few key substances probably come to mind, including drugs, alcohol, and nicotine. But carbs? While there probably won’t be an AMC drama about french fry dealers any time soon, a recent study from Dr. David Ludwig of the Boston Children’s Hospital suggests that processed carbohydrates may have more addictive properties than we previously realized.

In Ludwig’s study, participants ate different kinds of milkshakes – identical in color, taste, and texture – except one had a high glycemic index, and the other a low. After the milkshake with a high glycemic index was ingested, blood sugar rapidly rose and then collapsed, just as expected. What was interesting was how this process played out within the brain itself. Four hours after eating, when blood sugar dropped, brain scans of the subjects showed intense activation in nucleus accumbens, the brain’s “ground zero” of pleasure, reward, craving, and addiction. Junk food, it turns out, activated the same part of the brain as other addictive substances like drugs and alcohol.