A recent study has shown that certain types of foods are actually associated with addictive eating behaviours.
The current study provides preliminary evidence that not all foods are equally implicated in addictive-like eating behavior, and highly processed foods, which may share characteristics with drugs of abuse (e.g. high dose, rapid rate of absorption) appear to be particularly asso- ciated with “food addiction.”
There were 2 parts to the study. For the first part, researchers concluded that processed foods, particularly those high in fats and/or with a higher Glycemic index were most frequently associated with addictive eating behaviours.
Part Two concluded (similarly) that highly processed foods were more likely to be associated with these behaviours.
Previous studies have shown similar results also, with foods with added fats or refined carbohydrates, such as flour and sugar being most likely to trigger addictive eating.
Unprocessed foods were unlikely to be associated with addictive eating.
This may mean that simply ‘cutting back’ on these types of foods for some (most) people is not enough. Methods similar to those used to quit smoking, alcohol or drug abuse may be required. That is, totally stopping the consumption of the foods that affect you and bring out addictive eating behaviours.
I’ve always been a big believer in totally cutting out junk foods as the best way to take back control of addictive eating for most people. This is easier for some and not so for others of course, but it really is the best way I have found from experience over the past 7 years.
Alternate behaviours, food choices and actions are usually required rather than a simple instruction such as ‘stop eating chocolate’ as well as support and accountability. Breaking any addiction is tough on your own.
You can find the link to the study here