Like poppies and coca leaves, sugarcane, sugar beets, wheat, and corn can now be quickly and cheaply transformed into ultrapotent white powders and colorless syrups. Like all drug substances, they are designed to impact the brain neurotransmitters that produce enjoyable sensations. First they amplify these sensations tremendously, then, when the impact wears off, those same neurotransmitters start broadcasting powerful craving messages; messages that guarantee quick new sales.
The Craving Cure Book
Naming the Enemy: Techno-Karbz Some people call them Franken-Carbs, most people call them junk foods, but from now on I'm going to refer to these industrial-strength carbohydrates as "Techno-Karbz. They are neither fruit, bean, vegetable, nor grain. They are cold cereal, juice, ice cream, cookies, and chips. They are the bun on the burger, the batter on the chicken, the crust on the pizza, and the wrap on the burrito. The beef, chicken, tomatoes, and cheese in the latter products are real foods.
When artificially created sugars and flours outweigh these real foods in a product, a Techno-Karb is created. More and more, the real food is being left out altogether. It has been determined that 60 percent of our diet is now composed of stripped sugars and starches with some flavoring and damaging fat thrown in we'll get to the wronged fats in Chapter 3.
This means that about 60 percent of our diet contains none of the nutrients required to keep us fit, healthy, and happy. No wonder we aren't. Sugar and starch concentrates are the world's top-selling and, as we'll see, the world's top-killing designer drugs. As such, they need to be given a warning label. It's imperative that we start making the distinction between Techno-Karbz and whole, natural carbohydrates.
It's worth our lives. We must find a way to see through the familiar, cute, and misleading images; the pet names, the funny voiceovers, and the darling graphics. Or, almost worse, the ones that convince us that they're good for us and our children. Techno-Karbz are actually just narcotics dressed up in skirts. Adorably packaged and sublime tasting, these substances are designed to pass as foods.
But they have much more in common with hard drugs.
Actually, as you'll see, your favorite goodies are more potent than heroin and cocaine combined. We don't force anyone to eat our products. In his book, The End of Overeating, Kessler quoted food industry leaders who acknowledged that their products were destroying our health because we could not limit our intake of them due to their inflated "palatability" read: addictiveness , achieved through careful and increasingly sophisticated food technology. This was news to the general public, but not to addiction scientists.
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Three years earlier, in , at the University of Bordeaux, a study using the same methods that had originally certified cocaine as the most addictive drug ever known, had found table sugar, alone, to be more than twice as addictive. Animal studies comparing the effects of sugar to those of street drugs had first started to trickle in after That trickle has since become a torrent. The French study is now only one of hundreds of scientific papers that continue to be published on this topic.
These studies have found the effects of Techno-Karbz on the brain to be comparable to the effects of not just cocaine, but drugs like heroin, Ecstasy, and Xanax, as well.
Researchers have documented that foods containing highly refined sugars and starches can have an impact on all of the same pleasure centers in the brain that hard drugs do. Research and the Craving Cure I disagree in this book with a number of opinions that have been held firmly for a long time. But I've only done so after years of experience with thousands of clients, years of digging through the research, and years of discussion with experts in the field of health and nutrition.
Even so, I do not want you to just take my word. That's why I've included fifty pages of jewel-like references in the Notes section. I strongly encourage you to scan them and locate the studies that interest you on the Internet. Just type the first five words of any study into the search bar of your favorite search engine to find the study itself not the blog posts about it.
I've just explained that our diet has come to consist largely of addictive drugs in disguise and that our cravings for them are involuntary and harmful, so I don't think that you'll be surprised when I say that you are very likely to have become addicted. How could you not have? Craving is the primary symptom of any addiction. Most of us have been led all the way into a full-blown addiction trap by cravings that have been building since childhood, when we were first exposed to these shrewdly designed and mercilessly marketed substances.
You have likely been trying to escape that trap for years. But I don't want to minimize what's at stake here. You now know, from scoring your Craving Profile, how many Craving Types you have and how severe their symptoms are.
What Worked for Me
You could have as many as five separate brain-generated forces propelling you toward the Techno-Karbz. This internal pressure is formidable. But, on top of it, you are faced with massive external pressures. Big Food's entire advertising industry is arrayed against you. And Techno-Karbz are everywhere, always a big part of "having fun. Yet, most people, probably including you, still think that it's "all my own fault"; that it's about lack of motivation or poor self-discipline. That's what you're supposed to think. It really is a conspiracy!
Scientific interest in what constitutes addicted eating has been aroused by the helpless struggle with food and weight that most Americans are now engaged in. What have they concluded about how foods compare to drug and alcohol addiction? There are 28 million drug and alcohol addicts in the United States. That's 20 to 60 percent of the U.
In a speech given in , Volkow said that "20 percent of drug users become addicted and behave in health-risking ways because of their use. By this standard, food could actually be considered several times more addictive than crack. They also take into account that those who are overweight and obese are not all food addicted, and that some of those at normal weight, like most of our bulimics, are.
The Most Addictive Foods The international team associated with the Yale Food Addiction Study conducted research, published in , that identified the top most addictive foods. Pizza and chocolate-flavored baked desserts topped the list, with chips, cookies, fries, and ice cream close behind.
See a Problem?
How did wholesome natural carbohydrates score? Bananas, strawberries, and apples were near the bottom of the list. Carrots and cucumbers were at the rock bottom. Most important, the team found that over 90 percent of the cross section of people they'd surveyed "had a persistent desire to, or repeatedly made unsuccessful attempts to, quit eating" those foods. There are many signs and degrees of addiction and the negative consequences of it, but the simple definition is " continued use despite adverse consequences.
A pint of ice cream most nights and a constant struggle with fifteen pounds? Or daily binges, type 2 diabetes, and obesity? Can you stay away from your particular favorites? How often have you tried and "failed" despite the guilt, shame, expense, weight gain, and hangovers; despite the comments of friends, a spouse, your personal trainer, or your doctor? Continues… Excerpted from "The Craving Cure" by. Excerpted by permission of Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc.
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