Your brain on carbs: Study suggests how sugary, starchy foods may lead to addiction

milkshake

milkshakeA recent study has found that some sugary, starchy foods trigger some of the same reward  mechanisms as drug and alcohol addiction.

A new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the brain responds differently to some types of carbohydrates than others.  In the study, researchers observed the brain activity of 12 overweight or obese men between the ages of 18 and 35 in the hours after they consumed milkshake meals.  The results indicated when subjects drank the high-glycemic shakes, their blood sugar levels rose more quickly, and several hours later had dipped lower than when they drank the low-glycemic version. They also reported feeling hungrier.

Glycemic carbs, such as the kind found in white bread, white rice and processed sweets, spike blood sugar more quickly.  Lead study author Dr. David Ludwig, director of the obesity research center at Boston Children’s Hospital, said the brain activity may suggest why some people get stuck in a cycle of reaching for — and overeating — sugary, starchy foods.  “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,” Ludwig said in a statement.  “Limiting high-glycemic index carbohydrates like white bread and potatoes could help obese individuals reduce cravings and control the urge to overeat.”

Over eating high-glycemic foods is not healthy, you are ultimately consuming foods that strip you off needed nutrients.  Will power goes a long way in living a healthy life.

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Picture by www.derekchristensen.com

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