The Scientific Reason Eliminating Processed Foods Is Challenging

Cookies, chips, crackers, donuts, frozen dinners, and other processed food may taste good, but all are among the biggest weight loss hurdles. If you recently began taking Phentermine 37.5mg as part of your weight loss journey but are having a difficult time giving up your favorite processed snacks, learn the possible scientific reason for your issue:

Triggers Reward Response

Researchers from the United States, Canada, Germany, and Switzerland investigated what happens in the brain when a person consumes a processed snack or meal. The study was published in the medical journal Cell Metabolism, and found the “cost versus benefit” thought process humans use when assessing food’s nutritional value seems to disappear when it comes to processed junk. The main study of 206 individuals included showing the participants images of snacks, including those heavy in carbs, fats, or a blend of the two. Snacks were rated based on factors such as likeability, caloric content, estimated energy density, and familiarity.

The dorsal striatum and the mediodorsal thalamus, or the sections of the brain linked to reward responses, were most active when the participants were shown or given food with high fat and carbohydrate content.

Our participants were very accurate at estimating calories from fat and very poor at estimating calories from carbohydrate. [...] [When both nutrients are combined, the brain seems to overestimate the energetic value of the food,” noted researcher Dana Small.

The Adaptation Factor

Small and her colleagues theorized that because donuts and similar foods are relatively new at about 150 years old, the brain has not had the time to adapt to them in an appropriate, health-conscious way.

"In nature, foods high in fat and carbohydrate are very rare and tend to have fiber, which slows metabolism. By contrast, it is very common for processed foods to have high fat and high carbohydrate loads,” Small remarked.

Practicing mindful eating habits and breaking the addiction to sugar is among the best ways to help your brain adapt.

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