Food Addiction Fires Up the Fat Cycle

When a heavy coffee drinker stops drinking coffee, he feels ill, experiencing headaches and weakness, and even feels nervous and shaky. Fortunately, these symptoms resolve slowly over four to six days. Discomfort after stopping an addictive substance is called withdrawal, and it is significant because it represents detoxification, or a biochemical healing that is accomplished after the substance is withdrawn. It is nearly impossible to cleanse the body of a harmful substance without experiencing the discomfort of withdrawal. Humans have a tendency to want to avoid discomfort, so they continue the toxic habits to avoid the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. When we discontinue consuming healthy substances, such as broccoli or spinach, we do not experience discomfort. We feel nothing. Only unhealthful, toxic substances are addicting, and, therefore, these are the only substances that cause discomfort when you stop consuming them. Their addictive potential is proportional to their toxicity.

Uncomfortable sensations are very often the signals that repair is under way and the removal of toxins is occurring. Though it may be difficult to adjust to this way of thinking, feeling ill temporarily can be seen as a sign that you are getting well. That cup of coffee may make you feel better temporarily, but any stimulating substance that makes you feel better quickly, or gives you immediate energy, is hurtful, not healthful. Any substance that has that immediate effect is toxic and called a stimulant. Healthy foods do not induce stimulation. When you meet your needs for nutrients and sleep, your body will naturally feel well and fully energized, without the need for stimulation.

The heavy coffee drinker typically feels the worst upon waking up in the morning or when delaying or skipping a meal. The same is true for the many of us who are addicted to toxic foods. The body goes through withdrawal, or detoxification, most strongly when it is not busy digesting food. Eating stops withdrawal because detoxification cannot take place efficiently while food is being consumed and digested. A heavy meal will stop the discomfort, or a cup of coffee will alleviate the symptoms, but the cycle of withdrawal will begin again the minute the caffeine level drops or digestion is finished and the glucose level in the blood starts to go down.

The more you search for fast, temporary relief with a candy bar, a can of soda, or a bag of chips, the more you inhibit the healing, detoxification process. Then, your body becomes more toxic because you gave it more low-nutrient calories. Calories consumed without the accompanying nutrients that aid in their assimilation and metabolism lead to a build-up of toxic substances in the cells that promote cellular aging and disease. Eating low-nutrient calories increases dangerous free-radical activity within the cells and allows for the build-up of cellular waste. These low nutrient calories also increase other toxic materials in the body, such as Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). AGEs affect nearly every type of cell and molecule in the body, and are major factors in aging and age-related chronic diseases. Their production is markedly accelerated in diabetics, and they are believed to play a causative role in the vascular complications of the disease.

AGEs are the result of a chain of chemical reactions and may be formed external to the body by overcooking foods or inside the body though cellular metabolism. They form at a constant but slow rate in the normal body and accumulate with time, but their formation can be accelerated by your eating habits. Dry cooking methods such as baking, roasting, and broiling cause sugars to combine with proteins to form AGEs, while water-based cooking, such as steaming and boiling, does not. AGEs are highest in burnt and browned foods, such as brown-bread crust, cookies, and brown-basted meats, but these compounds also can build up in cells from the consumption of low-nutrient calories, especially calories from sweets. So, eating both overcooked foods and low-nutrient foods leads to the build-up of AGEs and ages us faster.

When you eat a diet that is based on toxic and addictive foods—such as salt, fried foods, snack foods, and sugary drinks—you not only build up free radicals and AGEs in your cells, but you also set the stage for ill feelings when you are not digesting food. Unhealthy food allows your body to create waste byproducts that must be removed by the liver and other organs. Only when digestion ends can the body fully take advantage of the opportunity to circulate and attempt to remove toxins. If the body is constantly digesting, it can’t go through this detoxification process effectively.

When detoxification begins, people often feel queasiness or malaise. Eating something restarts digestion and shuts down the detoxification process, making the bad feelings go away. The worse the nutritional quality of your diet, the worse you will feel if you try to stop eating food for a few hours. You will only feel normal while your digestive tract is busy

This is an excerpt from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat For Health.

Obesity Shortens Lifespan the Same as Smoking...

Smoking is a drag, no pun intended, but apparently obesity is equally bad. New findings published in The Lancet found moderate obesity shortens life expectancy by up to 4 years and severe obesity can shave off 10 years. Scientists compare these effects to lifelong smoking. The study followed 895,000 people in Europe and North America. During the study 100,000 participants died. Researchers claim carrying a third more than your optimum weight can shorten your life by roughly 3 years, for most people that is 50 to 60 extra pounds; from Medical News Today.

Obesity news is never good. Just last week obesity was linked to dementia and Alzheimer's disease, as well as poor reproductive ability in women, and just a little bit of belly fat makes it hard to breathe. Maybe that’s because your mouth is always stuffed with food!

So, if you’ve got a weight problem. Consider this. Vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber. This fills your stomach quickly without all the extra calories, i.e. you’ll lose weight.

Image credit: South Park Studios

Lose Weight, Stop Sleep Apnea

A low-calorie diet and exercise may help cure sleep apnea. Reported in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers examined 81 patients with mild sleep apnea, 40 participants were given a low-calorie diet and lifestyle counseling, losing an average of 20 pounds in a year and reducing symptoms of sleep apnea. But the remaining 41 people only received counseling and lost an average of 6 pounds and were unlikely to improve in their sleep apnea; via EurekAlert!

Actually, a previous study showed people eating diets high in cholesterol and artery-clogging saturated fat were at heightened risk of developing severe symptoms of sleep apnea, but many doctors still don’t give their obese patients diet plans. Other dangers of obesity include type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, fatty liver disease and increased overall mortality.

In related news, this November a 32-year long study revealed children consistently getting enough sleep were less likely to become obese as adults.

Image credit: stopnlook

No Luck of the Irish for Subway!

Subway plans to open 119 new restaurants in Ireland over the next two years. But one health advocate is against it, urging the government to put a cap on the number of restaurants. Saying Subway’s food is too high in calories and fuels obesity rates. Foot-long sandwiches can have as much as 1,160 calories, providing more than half of most people’s daily recommended intake; The Times Online reports.

It’s been rough for Subway. This summer, a patron sued after finding a dirty 7-inch knife in his 12-inch sandwich. Then, back in July, New York City enacted calories-on-menus laws for all fast food restaurants, including Subway, hoping it’ll help consumers make smarter food choices. And the idea is catching on! The U.K. just announced a 6-month trial period for similar legislation; via Diet-Blog.

Oh, and a new study determined students are more likely to eat junk food, like soda, if their school is located within walking distance of fast food restaurants.

Via CalorieLab.

Image credit: Steve Webel

Research: Healthy Breakfast, Healthier Diet

A new study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests eating a healthy, low-calorie breakfast, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains, leads to a better overall diet than gorging on a high-calorie, unhealthy breakfast, like steak and eggs or doughnuts and pastries. Participants eating a healthy breakfast weighed less than people eating a calorie-heavy breakfast or no breakfast at all; Reuters reports.

Now, for a great breakfast try some Blueberry Nut Oatmeal, Healthy Pancakes or my chocolate pudding. I eat it everyday!

 

Michael Phelps Still Eats like a Slob...

Michael Phelps might be an Olympic stud, but the dude’s got a horrible diet, consuming 12,000 calories a day, gorging on fried eggs, mayonnaise and pancakes. But he told CBS it isn’t true, he only eats 10,000 calories a day, stuff like peanut butter cups and quesadillas. Eek!

Who knew Olympic champions eat like crap. Recently, Michael Phelps stopped by The Colbert Report and said he’s out of shape and gained a few pounds. But in January he’ll start training for the 2012 London Olympics. So he’s got 4 years to burn off all the mayo!

Via That’sFit.

Genes Make Kids Eat Junk?

A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine claims a gene-variant makes children more likely to eat junk foods. And in an experiment, kids with the gene consumed 100 calories more per meal. This can lead to over-consumption and weight-gain. However, since this trait does not affect metabolism, researchers insist the behavior can be worked on; HealthDay News reports.

We saw a similar situation yesterday, with research suggesting parents’ lifestyle can override children’s genetic risk of obesity. Not mention, parents’ exercise habits can rub off on their kids too!