Studies over the last twenty years have explored the suggestion that people can become addicted to eating, in a similar way to addiction to alcohol or drugs. The concern with food addiction is that the affected person’s eating becomes so out of control, that they gain weight and are likely to become obese. Obesity increases the chance of chronic illness and an early death.
Interestingly not all food is considered to be potentially addictive. Only the foods that we already know damage health in other ways. Foods high in sugar, poor quality damaging fats, and refined (white) grains all feature in the studies. If we look at the types of foods considered likely to trigger and exacerbate food addiction we see they contain sugar, damaging fats and refined grains; for example chocolate, biscuits, potato chips, flavoured milk, hot chips, ice cream, muesli bars, pies, soft drinks and many takeaways. In addition, many of these foods contain artificial preservatives, colourings and flavourings which do nothing to promote health.
Whether or not you consider yourself to be a food addict, or overweight, “addictive foods" increase your risk of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, mental health problems and other illness. “Addictive foods” not only provide very little Magnesium, Zinc and B Vitamins, but also cause your body to lose these nutrients. Magnesium, Zinc and the B Vitamins are particularly important to mental health. Without them we are more likely to succumb to mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and addictive disorders. It’s easy to see how mental health can spiral downwards and excessive eating spiral up.
The first actions to take to overcome food addiction is to cut out sugars, damaging fats, refined foods and alcohol completely; and increase nutrient rich, revitalising foods.
Contact Bay Health Clinic today to find out more or to book a consultation with one of our Naturopaths; if needed they will also prepare tailored herbal medicines and recommend supplements to help you feel your best. Call 07 571 3226 or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Original Article September 2012
Copyright Jaine Kirtley