Fitness

Addictive foods

Some foods can cause addiction in us. We want a list of the most important foods that can make you dependent on yourself. It is better to avoid eating them.

Addiction to Chocolate While we all know about the dangers of alcohol, drugs and smoking, did you know that you can also become addicted to your favorite food? Up to 20% of people may suffer from food addiction or addictive eating behavior. Food addiction includes food that a person becomes addicted to, such as drugs that addicts become addicted to.

People with food addiction are unable to control their consumption of certain foods. However, people cannot become addicted to any food. There are certain foods that are more likely to cause addiction symptoms.

Foods that can cause food addiction

Researchers at the University of Michigan studied the cause of binge eating in 518 people.

They used the Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) as a reference. This tool is mostly used to assess food addiction.

All participants consumed a list of 35 foods, both processed and unprocessed.

Their experience of problems with each of the 35 foods was rated on a scale from 1 (not at all addictive) to 7 (extremely addictive).

In this study, 7-10% of the participants were diagnosed with full-fledged food addiction.

92% of the participants had an addictive behavior towards some foods, they wanted to eat them again and again but were unable to quit.

Below are the results of this research into the least and most addictive foods.

18 most addictive foods

Unsurprisingly, many of the most addictive foods are processed foods. These foods are usually high in sugar, fat, or both.

The numbers below are the average scores given in the study mentioned above for each food, on a scale of 1 (not addictive) to 7 (very addictive).

Pizza (4.01)

Chocolate (3.73)

Chips (3.73)

Cookies (3.71)

Ice cream (3.68)

French fries (3.60)

Cheeseburger (3.51)

Soda (nine types of diet) (3.29)

cake (3.26)

cheese (3.22)

Bacon (3.03)

Fried chicken (2.97)

Rolls (plain) (2.73)

Popcorn (with butter) (2.64)

Breakfast cereal (2.59)

sticky candy (2.57)

steak (2.54)

Muffins (2.50)


17 foods with minimal addiction

The least addictive foods were mostly unprocessed whole foods.

Cucumber (1.53)

Carrot (1.60)

Beans (without sauce) (1.63)

apple (1.66)

Brown rice (1.74)

Broccoli (1.74)

Banana (1.77)

Salmon (1.84)

Corn (without butter or salt) (1.87)

Strawberry (1.88)

Granola bar (1.93)

water (1.94)

Simple Cracker (2.07)

pretzels (2.13)

Chicken breast (2.16)

Eggs (2.18)

Nuts (2.47)


What makes food addictive?

Addictive eating behavior in many involves more than a lack of willpower. There are biochemical reasons why some people lose control over their consumption.

This is often linked to processed foods, especially those high in sugar or fat.

Processed foods usually taste incredibly good.

They also contain high amounts of calories and cause major imbalances in blood sugar. These factors are known to cause food cravings.

However, the biggest factor in addictive eating behavior is your brain.

The brain has a reward center, which starts releasing dopamine and other chemicals that make us feel good when we eat.

This reward center is why many people “enjoy” eating. It makes sure we eat enough to get the energy and nutrients we need.

Eating processed snacks releases a huge amount of feel-good chemicals compared to unprocessed foods, resulting in a much stronger “reward” in the brain.

The brain then seeks more rewards and the food cravings become excessive. This can potentially lead to a vicious cycle called addictive eating behavior or food addiction.

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