Will there ever be any consensus on food addiction? Some people believe that overeating is just a lack of personal strength and others think there is a biological source.
New evidence coming from a study in the EU tries to pull together all the research. There seems to be proof that the neurotransmitter called dopamine is increased in the brain when eating, which is similar to what happens when taking other drugs. To test this theory, just think about how you feel when you have a headache. It goes away while you are eating, and just for those few moments the pain is soothed enough to give you a break.
Dr. Lustig from University of California was speaking in Toronto at the orthomolecular health conference and his work shows that there is a leptin resistance in the brain similar to an insulin resistance in the body. Leptin is the chemical that signals fullness in the brain, but sugar seems to interfere with that signal to an acclimatizing degree. Eat more sugar of any kind and you’ll want even more, because the brain can no longer sense it. Sounds like a drug to me.
Here are some ways to reduce your sugar intake and a few recipes to help you do it.
Some would like to point the finger at high fructose corn syrup as the lone source of all our obesity troubles. As you can see, it is the overabundance of sugar in total. That said, bees are giving us our first clue as to how useless HFCS really is.
Bee colony collapse is a serious topic in the agri-food world. There have been many theories about why bees are dying before they can perform the important task of pollinating our plants, but now there is the news about HFCS being a problem.
The pesticide which is used in conventionally grown corn is suspected to be toxic to bees. Now, scientists at the University of Illinois say they have found a possible link to the practice of feeding honey bees HFCS instead of honey. It is speculated that the HFCS is lacking in something that honey naturally has, which makes the bees themselves undernourished. This, of course, makes perfect sense since we know that honey has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties in its raw form. That wouldn’t be true of HFCS, a highly processed product derived from a genetically modified plant.
So, while you are reducing all sugar, go ahead and add ‘avoid all sweeteners derived from corn’ to your list of things to check for on labels.
The health science community is abuzz with a thing called ‘telomeres’ (tea-low-mere-z) that are in every cell in your body and are an indication of the aging process. The discovery of telomeres won the Nobel Prize in 2009 and now they can be tested. Do you want to know if your cells tell an older or younger story than your years? Do you want to protect them to slow the aging process and/or forestall any age-related illness as long as possible? Um, yes.
Telomeres are the tips of your chromosomes that hold together information. Think of them like the plastic ends of shoelaces, when they get old and brittle and fray, you can’t thread them into your shoes. The same goes for cells. If they become frayed, they can’t replicate themselves and keep new, healthy cells growing to keep you young and vital. Or worse, they replicate in a mutant way and become cancer cells.
There are foods and activities that factor into telomere protection—which is why people like me are always harping on you to eat more high-nutrient foods. Not because I like to harp, more because I like you.
Each of the following foods have been studied for their positive impact on health. It is unknown how or why they do what they do but as science moves forward, I bet we will see the connection to telomere protection.
The truth, though, is…who cares? They are delicious and easily worked into your meals. Each one here has a corresponding recipe for your dining pleasure.
Try consuming high-nutrient, low-calorie foods like:
Of course, you want to avoid processed sugar and flour, limit alcohol and get as much sleep as possible, but one of the more fascinating things under discovery is the impact of stress on telomeres.
The two things that have been shown to shorten telomeres are stress and early childhood trauma. Now obviously, you can’t avoid either, but you can figure them out—and put to rest the rumination that can occur after such events. Most of the problem is in your mind and doing whatever it takes to let that go will have a positive impact on your health. It is now proven—no longer the ‘hoo hoo’ of hippies. Chill and live better for it.