I have long thought in my own nonscientific way that certain foods aren’t a whole lot different than illicit drugs. In fact, I wrote about a study from last year that likened food cravings to that of a drug addict. Now here comes another study, this one concentrating on a natural chemical released by our bodies when we eat fatty foods.
A study out of the University of California found that our bodies release a natural chemical called endocannabinoids when we taste fatty foods. I’m as guilty as the next person. If I have a bag of kettle chips in my lap – particularly my favorite, salt and vinegar – you’ll have to pry them from my cold dead hands.
After the researchers fed rats various food items, they measured the production of endocannabinoids in each case. What they found was that fatty foods triggered the chemical, but not sugars or proteins. This makes total sense to me since, even though I can have a sweet tooth, I don’t find that I could sit and eat 20 Snickers bars.
Of course, the best thing to do when armed with this knowledge is to find ways to limit your intake. So for instance, if you really need to have chips with your lunch, take a small handful and put the bag away. Celery would be a better option, but hey, I understand.
What would a health study be without the possible end result being a new weight-loss drug? The authors of the study say that it could be possible to curb our tendency to overeat by creating a drug that would distract the endocannabinoid.
For better snack options that will minimize your temptations, check out these articles:
(via: Consumer Reports)
July 15th, 2011