1. Eating At Night
Is your brain hijacked with cravings at night? A new small study with females sheds “light” on why this may be so. Science Daily reports: “In a newly published study, exercise sciences professors and a neuroscientist at BYU used MRI to measure how people’s brains respond to high- and low-calorie food images at different times of the day. The results showed that images of food, especially high-calorie food, can generate spikes in brain activity, but those neural responses are lower in the evening.” (Brain Imaging & Behavior, March 2015; Science Daily, May 5 2015)
2. Sipping on Sugar-Free Beverages
Due to sales declining, Pepsi will be replacing aspartame in diet soda; however, the sweetener swap still poses questionable safety effects in rodent studies. These include impaired cognition and metabolic alterations. (Chicago Tribune, April 24 2015)
Furthermore, “fake sweeteners” trump health goals in a variety of ways. Their consumption has been linked to the stimulation of excitatory brain neurotransmitters, hunger cue dysregulation, and sugar metabolism dysfunction. Some rodent studies also report a connection of artificial sweeter consumption to tumor growth and neurological issues. The “non-conclusive” safety evidence led The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CPSI), a nonprofit watchdog group, to release a warning about Splenda which followed their recommendation to avoid other man-made sweeteners. (Drug Chem Toxicol. 2008; Cspinet.org. June 12, 2013)
3. Sugar Consumption
Too much sugar can lead to insulin resistance, leading to an increase in blood sugar, making your body less responsive to hunger cues and increasing your risk for diabetes. Furthermore, high fructose intake can bypass appetite cues making your brain want more sugary-stimulation. (WebMD, What is Insulin Resistance; J Clin Endocrinol Metab, June 2004; Am J Clin Nutr. December 2008; Am J Clin Nutr. September 2013 )
4. Biochemical Imbalances
Changes in hormones, neurotransmitters, gut bugs (microbiome balance), food sensitivities, genetics, nutrient deficiencies, stress, digestive imbalances, and environmental toxicant exposure are other factors that should be discussed with an amazing functional or naturopathic medical practitioner. This kind of support can guide you in re-balancing any of these factors if your cravings are running rampant. (Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2012)
Bottom Line: Food can be “addictive”, if you JERF (Just Eat Real Food), your brain is less likely to be hijacked and your appetite will more likely be regulated.
Summertime is here, so are ticks! Read my latest blog on the story behind this critter, testing, and holistic support.