Monday, July 15, 2013

Why Processed Foods Make You Gain Weight

Mention the words weight loss and the immediate thought is to cut calories and exercise.  Yet, there is another component which is the craving or excess hunger problem.  One of the biggest blocks to cutting calories and food intake is feeling really hungry all the time.  Someone may eat a "healthy" energy bars with soy or whey protein and processed fibers, which has a good amount of protein and fiber, but they feel hungry again way too soon.  The energy bar is not really healthy because it gives you the protein and fiber in a processed way that isolates one component of the food from the rest of the food.  The rest of the food contains things like water, fats and real fiber that helps with digestion and provides satiety.  Further, the taste of the isolated component is very intensified and reacts poorly with the body. 

Dr. Alan Goldhamer, a well known expert and nutritionist, describes how eating these processed food products are actually addictive like drugs and alcohol:

"When human beings (or other animals) eat highly concentrated processed foods, including oil, sugar and flour products, they artificially stimulate dopamine secretion in the brain. Dopamine is the neurochemical most closely associated with pleasure. The more highly concentrated the food (calories per pound), the more dopamine is secreted by the brain, the better the food 'tastes' and the more effective the pleasure trap is. In addition, artificially concentrated foods are devoid of the whole food factors, including fiber, that trigger the satiety mechanisms in the brain that are responsible for the feeling of fullness and the regulation of total calorie intake. When satiation is not triggered normally, overeating becomes inevitable and obesity eventually follows. When they say, 'betcha can’t just eat one,' they’re not kidding!"

Further consider someone who is really overweight and struggling to diet, they are an addict for all intents and purposes to these foods.  Moderate intake of these foods is similar to an alcoholic thinking they can drink in moderation.  It just doesn't work.  The best thing is to only eat pure foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains like quinoa or bulgur and good fats like nuts, extra virgin olive oil or avocado.

Ayurveda recommends natural, unprocessed foods and meals that have all six tastes (sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent) to maintain healthy digestion and weight.  Foods that are not in their pure form are not recognized and assimilated well in the body.  This creates strain for the body and can build toxins. 

The convenience and false impressions given by processed food manufacturers are hard to resist, but looking and good and feeling good are hard to resist too.

Stay healthy & well,

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