The Addictive Nature of Junk Food

The Addictive Nature of Junk Food

We have all seen the line at the local fast food chain (and let’s face it, we’ve all probably been in it too.)  And according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the number is only growing.  Not to mention candy sales as consistent as growing gasoline prices.  So what makes junk food so addicting?

A couple weeks ago we reported on portion sizes, and the growing waist-line of the average American.   And while portion sizes are a large part of the problem (no pun intended,) what you’re eating is also plays a major role.  All of those sweets take a toll, and what nutritionists and doctors are finding is that it’s a repetitive toll that is hard to break.

It has widely been reported that recent brain scans show sugar is as addictive as cocaine.  Sugar alone is a big reason why you’ll hear people say, “I don’t eat a lot of sweets, and I STILL gain weight.”  The truth is, it’s in just about everything we eat.  In fact we make sugar out of a flurry of foods.  Types of sugars include: barley malt, beet sugar, brown sugar, cane-juice, cane sugar, carmel and of course… corn syrup.  And that doesn’t take into consideration all the artificial sugars we make.

Eating too much sugar can lead to unhealthy eating patterns.  According to BBC Science, “Sugar can be a mood-booster as it prompts the body to release the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin into the blood stream.”  The mood lifter we obtain from sugar is one of the main reasons we rely on it at celebratory activities or when we crave comfort and reward.  However, the “pleasant sugar rush triggers an increase in insulin as the body strives to bring blood glucose levels back to normal.”  This has the effect of causing a ‘sugar crash’ when sugar levels have been depleted and many crave yet more sugar, which can ultimately lead to the unhealthy cycle of binge-eating.

The biggest sugar culprits are soft drinks, followed by a surprising contender… fruit drinks.  The truth is even the bread we make here in the states is sugar packed.  A recent study done by Harvard points out that, “The United States is simply too sweet for its own good.  Even the ‘healthy’ fruit drinks that Americans sip are packed with the amount of sugar in six cookies. That love affair is making us sick.”

How sick?  Well for starters obesity is linked to high blood pressure, heart attacks, kidney failures, strokes and blood vessel damage.   Excess weight slows you down by putting added stress on vital organs and on your skeletal structure.  Simply put, you have a lower life expectancy the heavier you are.

We here at Sole understand the struggle, which is why we’ve designed our exercise equipment to be easy to use, intuitive and help push you to your fitness goals.   With a wide range of award-winning treadmills and home exercise equipment to meet every need.  Check out our line-up today by clicking here.

Now I understand Easter is right around the corner, and while you’re at one of those fast-food joints or pushing your shopping kart around the grocery store past the isles of colorful candies we want you to stay strong and realize that there are healthy alternatives that still taste great.  For example, instead of candy try foods that contain natural sugars like fruit.  For more idea’s, check out our Pinterest page filled with stay-on-track snacks!