Sugar. Chocolate. Meat and cheese.
We KNOW these edibles can be fattening and loaded with calories.
And when some of them are mixed together, they can be deadly to healthy diets.
Yet somehow in the face of stress, we are driven – against our better judgement – to overindulge.
It’s not your fault
What you may not know is that the very foods you crave trigger biochemical reactions in your body that deliver a feel-good cascade.
Now, this can be a good thing or it can be problematic. Our ‘craving’ for carbs is nothing to be denied because it is a nutrient absolutely essential to our survival. Carbohydrate also boosts brain chemicals such as seratonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a central role in your moods, sleep, and other functions.
No wonder you get cranky when you cut your carbs.
The problem lies with foods that overstimulate specific centers in the brain causing a hyperactivation of these pathways. And guess what. Modern food technologies that have delivered to us the wonder of highly concentrated edibles that easily trip the pleasure cycles of the brain pathways can draw us in like an addiction.
A biochemical cascade that gets us hooked
When you eat a highly concentrated, high sugar, high fat food, here’s what happens.
A nerve impulse is triggered that goes to the base of your brain. This causes the release of opiate chemicals – “cousins of heroin and morphine”. These in turn trigger the release of dopamine, the “feel good” biochemical.
Now wonder we turn to them in times of stress.
We then associate the taste of these foods with the pleasant effects they have on the brain. We feel helpless before them.
Understanding this phenomenon is the first step toward extraction from the grip of highly addictive foods.
Take sugar and chocolate, for example.
Fat, sugar, and chocolate, when presented together as they almost always are – in desserts, ice cream, candy, and pastries – present the perfect recipe for manufacturing and maintaining body fat stores. Without much trouble, they can stand solidly in the way of successful weight loss.
Which is why this biochemical cascade problem can be stand solidly in the way of our weight loss and body shaping goals.
Chocolate is the most craved food
Between you and me, can you see what’s going on here? In some foodstuffs there hides a drug store that carries a whole arsenal of pleasure cycles.
Chocolate, for example, brings us an extra rush of pleasure because of its ability to stimulate opiate receptors in the brain. The same can be said for other high fat, high sugar combinations.
No wonder we’re rendered helpless in the face of that Dove Bar – our experiential memory pulls us in.
Watch this informative and enlightening video by Dr. Neal Barnard, author of Breaking the Food Seduction, to find out just why certain foods are so darn irresistible if not downright addicting.
- How the same emergency room drug used to stop the effects of heroin and morphine also stop the appeal of chocolate, rendering a neutral response in human subjects.
- Sugar and “the magnetized baby” phenomenon
- Biochemical pathway problems in connection with cheese and meat.
In addition, Dr. Barnard provides the easy solution: a plant-strong diet, and a clean break with foods high in excito-toxins for 21 Days – enough time to set new patterns of taste. Just like we do in my Body Transformation Booty Camps.
Opiate activity in “innocent” food?
Caso-morphines in your milk and cheese?
Dopamine and endorphin cascades?
Sheesh, no wonder we hanker after these foods so much. Dr. Barnard explains why. Ignorance may be bliss, but it really doesn’t help us in the long run, does it?
Let me know what you think of this video presentation by leaving your comments in “Leave a Reply’ below.
I couldn’t get the video to work. It kept throwing me to the 404 page. I think a little 60%-70%dark chocolate a day is non-negotiable for me. If I can stick to everything else but quitting that, and if losing it might be a deal-breaker, then I can live with the stigma. ;o)
Black tea is another one, if that is a sin. Two mugs.
I have an anxiety disorder of long standing, linked to depression. Been on medication for 26 years now. So stress is my specialty.
Donna, thanks so much for alerting me to the video glitch! I’ve replaced the code and it should work for you now – let me know, stress specialist! 😉
I finally took the time to watch this, and I’m so glad I did because not only is it a great message but he is an entertaining speaker! I posted it on Facebook and I hope a few will watch. If they begin it, then he will carry them through the whole 40 minutes. ;o)
Hey Donna, I know, isn’t he great? I’m going to be at an event with Dr. Barnard in September and am looking forward to it!
Glad you linked the video – I hope you linked to its appearance on this page because I can’t tell you how often I’ve received messages from people seeing videos like this here and being double excited because of not only the information it presents, but because there’s support for the change and related information as well.
I LOVE this video. Recently I have been eating 85-90% vegan. Recently I went to Italy and when I came back all I wanted to eat was cheese- and this has given me some enlightenment. Thankyou so much, it has shed light on a lot of issues I have been having and I just went and chucked my cheese into the bin. And am looking forward to feeling better and clearer. I especially appreciated the down to earth and humorous approach of Neal. Good work and again, Thankyou.
Oh that cheese – and in Italy too, I know! So glad you like the video, Dr. Barnard is indeed on top of his game.
Thanks so much for coming by and leaving your comments. How did we meet, when you get a chance?
My friend Jacqui, a fellow UK Yoga teacher, passed me the link via facebook. I have also worked as a fitness professional and so good nutrition is very important to me in my life and work and as I am taking the plunge to be completely vegan coming across this kind of work is great for me. In the past I have struggled to remain energized and free of cravings with veganism. I have found spirulina to be an absolute godsend! Will be reading a lot more on this site in the near future:)
Thanks for the introduction, Victoria. It’ll be fun comparing notes as we move forward.
I LOVE THIS VIDEO. I’ve seen it before, Dr. Barnard is such an entertaining speaker, really knows how to get the message across. Thanks for the video, reminds me that I need to work on my sugar addiction.
No chocolate addiction for me. Back in the SAD days, I enjoyed MILK chocolate. Pure dark chocolate is not enjoyable to me. So giving up chocolate was easy, because the kind I liked had milk in it, and I now view milk as poison, and I’m not into eating poison!
It’s a keeper, isn’t it? And I agree on the articulating arts of Dr. Barnard. Never fails to engage!