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When we want to have a healthy and natural diet we try and eat the best quality fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and eggs and get rid of sugars, simple carbohydrates, and over-processed foods that serve no purpose.
The first part is more or less simple. Everyone likes eating high quality, good food. Healthy eating goes great until someone sticks that piece of warm, fresh bread in front of you, or a delicious pasta dish, or maybe a glazed donut or some ice cream with chocolate syrup! That’s where things change.
There are physical and chemical reasons that occur in the body for why when we eat carbohydrates that we feel the need to continue eating and wanting more. Many people truly are addicted to these kinds of foods, and the more they eat, the more their body feels anxious to want to eat them again.
Carbohydrates transform into glucose (sugar) in our bodies. We can find hydrates in different types of foods such as vegetables, fruits, cereals, and, of course in sugar. However, why do you all of a sudden crave a chocolate cupcake and not some Swiss chard? It’s not because of the flavor.
Insulin is the hormone that regulates the amount of glucose in our blood as well as making us feel hungry. When high-glycemic foods are eaten (which are processed quickly and pass through the blood soon after ingesting them), sharp spikes in glucose levels occur, causing a need to eat again shortly after eating.
In most cases we can’t even control how much we eat. As much as we try to think “I will only eat one potato chip” or “I will only eat a piece of chocolate” soon after we realize that the bag of potato chips or the box of chocolates are almost gone. Well, this is what happens to our body: the more carbohydrates we eat, the more insulin is released; and the more insulin is released, the more carbohydrates we feel we need. The impulse goes straight to our brain, causing us to keep eating until we finish the bag off, whether we like it or not.
If we add to this the sugar (which is present in all processed foods, even salty ones) our body also physically responds and so down the rabbit hole we go. Sugar, like other addictive substances, releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine to our brain. Dopamine gives us a feeling of instant pleasure, which our brain takes as a reward and thus generates an urge for more and more.
The best way to quit, like any other addiction, is to remove the problem from its root. It may seem very hard and at first, it is, but after the first month, the body reestablishes itself and stops feeling the urge for simple carbohydrates and sugar, since it no longer needs them.