It’s time to unveil hidden manufactured food cravings.

We all have cravings. Unfortunately, our reliance on processed foods is a major factor in our skyrocketing obesity and disease rates.

Not only are we eating because of stress, anxiety, depression, and other reasons but there’s also the manufactures that are creating addictive foods!

Sugar and salt cravings typically are to blame for our snack attacks. Even those that “know better” have a hard time keeping their hands away from donuts, fries, pizza, cereal, and etc.

There is also the debate about having everything in moderation. I don’t know how many chemicals I can consume to be considered moderate. How many chemicals are we consuming in a day/week/month? Who’s to say what the tipping point of moderate chemical consumption really is? 

Designed to be Addictive 

Processed foods have sensory factors and carefully orchestrated flavors specifically designed to be addictive. Whereas the consistency and taste of whole foods created by nature work with our body to satisfy hunger and cravings.

Manufacturers take flavor science to extraordinary levels. Artificial ingredients used in processed foods to produce that sought-after “bliss point” seriously confuses our body’s metabolism.

When we consume non-caloric artificial sweeteners, it disrupts our metabolic response to real sugar which exacerbates obesity and diabetes. Our body isn’t fooled by sweet taste with calories. Therefore the non-caloric artificial sweeteners signal our brain to continue eating because the point of satisfaction cannot be reached.  Common Tricks of The food Trade 

Food manufacturers go to great lengths to excite our brain’s reward center. They find the perfect blend of sugar, salt, fat, and additional artificial flavorings to increase their product’s addictive nature. Tricks of the manufactured food cravings trade include:

  • Calorie density– Processed foods are designed to convince our brain it’s getting nutrition, but doesn’t fill us. This is done by combining ideal ratios of calories to prevent satisfaction signals.

  • Dynamic contrast– A combination of contrasting sensations that produce pleasurable sensations. Like biting into a crunchy, salted chocolate shell that’s then followed by a soft, creamy filling in the center.

  • Sensory-specific response– Flavor overload or repetitive flavors tend to lead to fewer sensations of pleasure. Therefore manufacturers create more complex flavor and sensory profiles. The formula for “craveability” is to pique our taste buds just enough, without overwhelming them in order to override our brain’s ability to say “I’ve had enough”.

  • Salivary response – Boosting taste and feelings of pleasure such as mayonnaise, butter, ice cream, and chocolate.

  • Rapid food meltdown and vanishing caloric density– Food that quickly melts in our mouth (such as Cheetos) will trick the brain to think that we aren’t eating as much.

Kick those Cravings to the Curb 

Replacing processed foods with whole foods will cut out preservatives, dyes, addictive ingredients, refined sugar, and other addictive chemicals.

Switching from processed foods to whole foods can be done with support and guidance. Make sure to consult with your doctor and/or dietician before making major dietary food changes. 

Kick those manufactured food cravings to the curb by:

  • Avoiding processed food, refined sugar, and white food

  • Eating whole foods as often as possible

  • Eating some high-quality fat, such as avocados, coconut oil, quality butter, nuts, and omega 3 (krill, fish, or flaxseed oil).

  • High-quality protein such as grass-fed, organic, pasteurized animals

  • Eating large amounts of quality vegetables

  • Eating some fruit

When we get over the shock of how companies create manufactured food cravings, consider other root causes for food cravings. Such as mindset, beliefs, self-esteem, emotions, and habits for starters.

What strategies have worked for kicking your cravings to the curb?

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