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Addictive Foods
January 15, 2014, 11:50 am

Some foods are very addictive and as with anything addictive they can be harmful to your health. Here are a few really obsessive foods that are damaging to your well-being.

Potato chips: The one ingredient that makes potato chips so addicting is the salt in it. Salt triggers the pleasure center of your brain, and makes it difficult for you to stop eating. Unfortunately, if you consume too much salt, it throws your body into a tailspin. Usually, excess salt is secreted through your urine but if your kidneys can’t process it fast enough, the excess will be stored in your cells. This can lead to problems like water retention, potassium deficiency and high blood pressure.

French fries: This is another type of tasty potatoes that is hard to resist. But in French fries it is the combination of salt and hot potato that makes them tough to put down. Whether they’re baked or deep fried, that hot and fluffy potato contains carbohydrates, which has an effect on the brain’s pleasure centre. Fry that potato in oil, coat it in salt and you have an unhealthy, albeit tasty, side dish.

Refined flour:  As mentioned, carbohydrates have a drug-like effect on the brain. They produce a natural high by causing the body to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is responsible for regulation of the pleasure center in the brain. Foods like pasta and white rice can have a similar effect. Your best bet is to go with whole grain varieties of these products.

Chocolate: Many chocolate lovers call themselves chocoholics, and for good reason: Chocolate is very addictive. But it is not so much the taste or texture that chocolate lovers love about cocoa; it is the fact it affects the same brain cell receptors that cause pleasure.

Cheese: Cheese pizza, cheese fries, cheese nachos and cheeseburgers are just a few of the cheesy foods that people like to indulge in. The reason is Caesin, a substance found in cheese that has been shown to produce opiate-like effects in the brain. Cheese also contains milk, which has been shown to contain trace amounts of morphine. Researchers say that this is to help a child bond to its mother, but it also helps your brain bond to cheese.

Soda: If you are an excessive soda drinker and thinking of kicking your habit, expect to deal with caffeine withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, depression, insomnia and fatigue. The symptoms can begin up to 12 hours after your last sip of soda and last for up to a week. Of course, your caffeine addiction may not be limited to soda; coffee, tea and energy drinks all contain high amounts of caffeine as well.

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