If science had identified one optimum diet for human health, all the fads and arguments could have stopped by now. Despite the uncertainty, the existing scientific evidence does seem to be converging towards certain principles that most experts can agree on. There is good evidence that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is healthier than the typical American diet high in calories, red meat, and processed foods.
Are you having weight problems? Have you been diagnosed as obese? Maybe it's not just what you eat or how much. According to a study, you could actually have a food addiction. We all say we're addicted to our favorite donuts or chocolates. Food addiction is quite a controversial topic among researchers, but there is increasing evidence to prove that highly processed, sugary and fatty foods have a unique contribution to our weight problems.
According to the latest research conducted on the subject, certain behaviors and attitudes associated with certain types of food, closely resemble addiction patterns. In the study, over five hundred participants identify the foods that contributed the most to their weight problems. Participants used the Yale Food Addiction Scale in defining their problem foods. Scores for different food types for each participant were then averaged, and then the foods were ranked from most problematic to least problematic in terms of behaviors that mimic addiction.
The foods that turned out to be most mentally distressing and physically uncomfortable are the highly-processed types or those which are high in fat and sugar. Such foods also have the highest glycemic indices, which are measurements of how the food affects a person's blood sugar levels after being consumed. Researchers believe this is not a coincidence. There are many studies suggest that these particular food types can elicit behaviors and alterations in the brain which are normally associated with a drug or alcohol addiction diagnosis.
Food addiction as of today has not been recognized officially. It is most similar to binge eating disorder using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. But the study mentioned earlier – the latest conducted on the topic – is the first to establish a connection between how people eat specific foods and the qualities of those foods (being highly processed, high-sugar or high-fat). Research continue to hope that this finding will soon help obese people who are struggling with their weight issues.
Nutrition doesn't have to be complicated. It goes back to the lessons you learned as a kid. Start with a real breakfast; don't ever skip that. If you're waking up early for a run, make sure you drink at least a glass of water and put something healthy into your stomach before you go out the door. Cooking with your kids and engaging them in hands-on activities are two ways to begin to educate children about the healthy eating, and kick start the important task to help change how the younger generation looks at food and nutrition.
This could help change the world's approach to obesity treatment, which may not always be about reducing food intake, but rather using methods that are known to stop drug abuse, smoking and drinking.
A person who feels like he is addicted to food may never get a medical diagnosis as of now. But researchers are keen on spreading information so that those who are exhibiting sings of an addiction-like eating disorder can be helped. If you're afraid you might be one of these people, this is one continuing research that you should follow. You can't deny a problem that is clearly there. Know and accept your need for help.
Back in 60s and 70s, many prominent scientists believed that saturated fat was the main cause of heart disease, by raising the "bad" cholesterol in the blood. This idea was the cornerstone of the low-fat diet. Because of a few bad studies and misguided political decisions, this diet was recommended to all Americans in the year 1977.
However, there wasn't a single study on this diet at the time. The American public became participants in the largest uncontrolled experiment in history. This experiment didn't turn out very well and we are still suffering the consequences.