Can You Be Addicted to Carbs? New Scientific Findings May Say Yes

BagelsEver wonder why you cannot stop eating after one potato chip or bread roll? It may not just be because you are a dieting failure. Scientists may have found the answer. New research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition points out that carbohydrates and simple sugars can be just as addicting as cigarettes.

Previously, scientists have found that when an individual eats for pleasure, such as a piece of cheesecake, the pleasure-part of the brain lights up. Now, new research shows that even mindlessly eating carbs without thinking about it can light up the same part of the brain that relates to pleasure, reward, and addiction.

Researchers proved their point by examining the brain scans of twelve overweight men. One half of the group was given a milkshake with slow-digesting carbs, and the other group was given the same shake with the same amount of calories, but with quick-digesting carbohydrates. They discovered that the shake with the simple carbs in it made the participants’ blood sugar spike immediately and then crash four hours later. During the spike, there was activity in the brain in a similar fashion as an addict getting a fix or someone getting a reward.  

Even with this discovery, researchers do not agree that certain foods are addictive. Instead they say that it is hard to determine whether an individual becomes overweight because of the addiction or if addiction-like responses occur because the individual became overweight.

So the next time you find yourself eating a whole box of crackers, it may not be your fault. Carbs and simple sugars may be the reason behind an individual’s lack of will power and binge eating.

Either way, take this study as another reason to stay away from simple and overly processed carbohydrates. Instead, stick with brown rice and whole wheat products.

Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.


Story Credit, Image Credit: Bagels by Joy. Used under a Creative Commons license.

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