Saturday, July 6, 2013

Are Some Carbs Addictive? New Study Looks At The Question

A Hamburger, fries, and a coke from a fast-foo...
Photo credit: Wikipedia
We all know that certain substances like alcohol and tobacco can be addictive, but a new study suggests people can get hooked on food, as well.

Yeah, that's right - scientist now think that eating certain types of carbohydrates might cause people to crave even more of the same carbs.


What did the study look at?


Here's some info on this study - it was small - with only 11 participants (all overweight, but healthy men), and it was published in the June 26, 2013 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The study looked at whether high-glycemic or low-glycemic foods caused the participants to become hungrier and to crave more food. The researchers gave some of the men a high-glycemic (fast-digesting) milkshake and the others got a low-glycemic (slow-digesting) milkshake. Brain scans of the men after they consumed the shake showed that those who got the high-glycemic shake had more activity in the part of the brain controlling addiction.


What does it mean?


The men in the high-glycemic group craved more food after they consumed their shake, which leads the researchers to believe there might be similarities between substance abuse and food addiction.

In the press release for the study, one of the researchers stated -
"Beyond reward and craving, this part of the brain is also linked to substance abuse and dependence, which raises the question as to whether certain foods might be addictive." - David Ludwig, MD, PhD, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center
Of course, more studies will be done to look at the connection between high-glycemic diets and food addiction. For now, though, this study is just further evidence that we should all limit our intake of high-glycemic carbohydrates - found in processed foods, like white bread and bagels, as well as other foods like potatoes.

The video below offers a good overview of this study. Let me know what you think.

Source: Everyday Health 


by Matthew Killorin
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