We all have manufactured food cravings. Unfortunately, our reliance on processed foods is a major factor in our skyrocketing obesity and disease rates. Sugar and salt cravings typically are to blame for our snack attacks. Even those that “know better” have a hard time keeping their hands away from donuts, fries, pizza, or cereal.
Then there is the debate about having everything in moderation. I’m on the side of not believing that. I don’t know how many chemicals I can consume to be considered moderate. How many chemicals are we consuming in a day/week/month? Who’s to say what the tipping point of moderate chemical consumption is?
Processed Foods Are Designed To Be Addictive
Processed foods have sensory factors and carefully orchestrated flavors specifically designed to be addictive. Whereas the consistency and taste of whole foods created by nature work with your body to satisfy hunger and cravings. Manufacturers take flavor science to extraordinary levels. Artificial ingredients used in processed foods to produce that sought-after “bliss point” seriously confuses your body’s metabolism.
When you consume non-caloric artificial sweeteners, it disrupts your metabolic response to real sugar which exacerbates obesity and diabetes because it does not fool your body. Non-caloric artificial sweeteners signal your brain to continue eating because the point of satisfaction cannot be reached.
Common Tricks Of The Food Trade
Food manufacturers go to great lengths to excite your brain’s reward center. They find the perfect blend of sugar, salt, fat, and additional artificial flavorings to increase their product’s addictive nature. Tricks of the manufactured food cravings trade include:
Calorie density – The design of processed foods is to convince your brain it’s getting nutrition, without ever getting full. Combining ideal ratios of calories prevent satisfaction signals.
Dynamic contrast – A combination of contrasting sensations that produce pleasurable sensations such as biting into a crunchy, salted chocolate shell with a soft, creamy filling in the center.
Sensory-specific response – Flavor overload or repetitive flavors tend to lead to fewer sensations of pleasure, therefore manufacturers create more complex flavor and sensory profiles. The formula for “craveability” is to pique your taste buds just enough, without overwhelming in order to override your brains’ ability to say “I’ve had enough”.
Salivary response – Boosting taste and feelings of pleasure such as mayonnaise, butter, ice cream, and chocolate.
Rapid food meltdown and vanishing caloric density – Food that quickly melts in your mouth (such as Cheetos) will trick the brain to think that you aren’t eating as much.
Kick Those Cravings To The Curb
Replacing processed foods with whole foods will cut out preservatives, dyes, addictive ingredients, refined sugar, and other addictive chemicals. You can switch from processed foods to whole foods with support and guidance but, make sure to consult with your doctor before making major dietary food changes.
Kick those manufactured food cravings to the curb by:
- Avoiding processed food, refined sugar, and white food
- Eating whole foods as often as possible
- Eating some high-quality fat, such as avocados, coconut oil, quality butter, nuts, and omega 3 (krill, fish, or flaxseed oil).
- Including high-quality protein such as grass-fed, organic, pasteurized animals
- Eating large amounts of quality vegetables
- Adding some fruit
When you get over the shock of how companies create manufactured food cravings, you can consider the other root causes of food cravings which include things like your mindset, beliefs, self-esteem, emotions, and habits.
I have a Cravings Connection Program that will help you kick those manufactured food cravings to the curb!
What strategies have worked for kicking your cravings to the curb? Share in the comments below. I would love to stay connected with you.