Health Update: Highly Processed Foods as Addictive as Tobacco

Hello once again everyone:
As consumers, we need to be aware that just because it is allowed to be sold as some type of edible ‘food like object’, does not necessarily mean that it is actually good for us. When it comes to highly processed foods (HPF’s), it is exactly the opposite: highly processed foods are destroying the health of any of us that consume them. Most of us are aware that these HPF’s are manufactured to be addictive, and this fact is becoming recognized at the clinical level. They state:
“Food addiction explains so much of what we see in clinical practice, where intelligent people understand what we tell them about the physiology associated with a low-carb diet, and they follow it for a while, but then they relapse,” said Jen Unwin, PhD explaining the difficulties faced by around 20% of her patients who are considered to have food addiction.
As an explanation of what is going on, the authors clarify the situation:
“They consider certain foods according to the primary criteria that have stood the test of time after being proposed in 1988 by the US Surgeon General to establish the addictive potential of tobacco: (1) they trigger compulsive use, (2) they have psychoactive effects, and (3) they are reinforcing.
They have updated these criteria to include the ability to trigger urges and cravings and add that “both these products [tobacco and HPFs] are legal, easily accessible, inexpensive, lack an intoxication syndrome, and are major causes of preventable death.”
For example, with compulsive use, tobacco meets this criterion because evidence suggests that most smokers would like to quit but are unable to do so. Likewise, write authors Gearhardt and colleagues, even “in the face of significant diet-related health consequences (eg, diabetes and cardiovascular disease), the majority of patients are unable to adhere to medically recommended dietary plans that require a reduction in HPF intake.
Bottom Line:
Now that we know that HPF’s are so addictive and harmful to our health and future, it would be wise to totally avoid them. If you are having trouble getting off them, it now becomes a bit more obvious as to why it is so difficult. What I have seen work is to gradually remove them and no longer bring them into the house while you supplement with blood sugar stabilizing nutrients. It does take some real work and determination. For the mental component, what has worked for me is to use a mindfulness approach of asking questions: there is no right question or wrong question, just ask:
· Does this food support my health?
· Is this food really something that is good for me
· Will I feel good or bad emotionally just 10 minutes later?
· Does this food support my goals and future?
A ‘no’ to any of these makes it easier to put it down or throw it away. The next step is to have a healthy alternative readily available. One of my favorite alternatives is plain old water…yeah…I know…that sounds ridiculous…but it works for me. Good alternative snacks that are ready to go are things like an organic carrot, an apple, avocado, or celery with hummus. At any rate, it takes a while to develop a consistent discipline and along the way we will all make some poor choices…so, relax, start over and gradually kick those foods to the curb. For the average person, it usually takes 3 weeks to 3 months to break the cycle of HFP’s plus along the way our taste buds wake up quite a bit so that clean foods are really tasty again. Chewing 25 to 30 times and savor each bite is very helpful also.
PS: This includes drive through food!! No, nope, never, nada, zip, zilch, zero to that stuff!!
PPS: You can do this!!

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