Most people struggle with addiction to unhealthy and sweet foods. And sometimes, it seems as though it’s impossible to stop —but is that true?
To answer that question, studies have shown that, just as it is possible to get hooked on fast and sugary foods, it is also possible to ‘reverse’ your addiction to unhealthy foods. It all boils down to one vital organ of the body —your brain.
Do We Condition Our Bodies To Certain Preferences?
Scientists believe certain people can curate a set of taste buds for the ‘sweeter’ things of life. They often give in to the temptations surrounding them, so they continue to make the wrong choices regarding eating healthy. Speaking matter-of-factly, a group of researchers who studied overweight people believe that such people are destined to continue eating unhealthy foods for the rest of their lives.
It then begs a vital question: if these people have someone trained their brains to desire these unhealthy snacks, is it possible to retrain the brain to make the right choices?
The answer? Yes!
Research has indicated that natural foods are better for our health, but we must be trained to eat such foods regularly. Susan B. Roberts, a senior author in a study conducted at the Harvard Medical School and Tuft University, noted that We didn’t grow up with a preference for French fries over something like whole wheat spaghetti. Gradually, people became conditioned to eat whatever was available in the toxic food supply chain.
In collaboration with her colleagues, Roberts conducted a study on 13 overweight and obese people, examining the brain reward circuits. The goal was to determine if you can retrain the brain to support healthy food choices. At the end of the six-month study, they found out that the MRI scans of the subjects’ brains showed positive changes in the brain’s reward centers, especially those areas that deal with learning and addiction.
The study revealed that healthy, low-calorie foods produced a much stronger reaction in the brain’s reward system. The researchers did this by ensuring that the participants were not only starved, which could cause them to eat unhealthily. Rather, they also continued to prescribe a low-calorie diet.
But can anyone be happy eating fruits and vegetables?
Recent studies have indicated that, contrary to the opinion that fruits and vegetables leave one with a poor mood and low well-being mentally, fruits and vegetables can leave you more invigorated than ever. In a study involving over 14,000 participants, the scientist found that those who ate five or more portions of fruits and vegetables daily were the happiest.
For those that are obese, it is possible to retrain your body and brain to enjoy healthier foods. Discipline, commitment, and patience are all that one needs to retrain one’s brain.