Are there addictive foods?  yes, these are

Are there addictive foods? yes, these are


Until the 20% of people experience some form of food addictionaccording to a study by the Newcastle University (UK), published in the journal Nutrients. This proportion is even higher among people with obesity.

Food addiction is produced by the same brain mechanisms of pleasure and reward that act with other “drugs”. People who have food addiction report that they cannot control their consumption of certain foods.

Sport What foods cause addiction?

Addiction does not occur with any food.

In this studio…

researchers of the University of Michigan studied addictive eating in 518 people.

  • Participants had to rate 35 foods, both processed and unprocessed, on a scale of 1 (not at all addictive) to 7 (extremely addictive, according to the Yale Food Addiction Scale, YFAS).
  • In this study, 7 to 10% of the participants were diagnosed with full-blown food addiction. In addition, 92% of the participants exhibited addictive eating behavior towards some foods. They repeatedly wanted to stop eating them, but could not.
  • The results detail which foods were most and least addictive. The number that follows each food is the average score given in the aforementioned study.
  • The most addictive foods were most often processed foods with high amounts of fat, often the less healthy types (saturated, refined, and partially hydrogenated), and added sugars.
  • This type of food is related to problems such as obesity, diabetes, cholesterolemia, metabolic syndrome, arteriosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes, and cancer.

1. Pizza (4.01)

Although it can be made with healthy vegetable ingredients, such as peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc., they tend to have an excess of fat due to the presence of cheese. Try the cauliflower-based pizza with 100% vegetable ingredients.

2. Chocolate (3,73)

Normally the most addictive presentations are those with the highest amount of sugar and fat, that is, milk and white chocolates. Dark chocolate with more than 70% cocoa is less addictive and healthier due to its richness in antioxidant polyphenols.

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3. Bag potato chips (3.73)

French fries are very addictive: many of them contain flavor enhancers that increase their addictive potential (and the dose of sodium). The fats with which they are made are usually unhealthy (saturated, refined polyunsaturated too rich in omega-6 or trans).

4. Cookies (3.71)

They combine large amounts of sugar, refined flours, and trans or saturated fats. There are homemade versions sweetened with dates and made with wholemeal flour and virtually no fat that are a much healthier option to conventional ones.

5. Ice Cream (3.68)

Ice cream is addictive because of the significant amount of fat -often trans- that gives it creaminess. It also contains a high proportion of sugar, dyes and synthetic aromas. Opt for lighter and healthier homemade versions.

6. Home fries (3.60)

The fries sold in hamburger restaurants or fast food places are prepared with mixtures of refined oils that are recycled over and over again, generating toxic compounds. They also provide too many unhealthy trans fats and, consequently, calories.

7. Cheeseburgers (3.51)

They combine the saturated fat from the meat with the saturated fat from the cheese. They are cholesterol bombs that clog the arteries. The meat they use is usually red, declared carcinogenic by the WHO. Vegan burgers (especially if you prepare them at home with natural ingredients) are just as delicious and much healthier.

8. Soft drink (non-diet) (3.29)

Soft drinks contain huge amounts of sugar. In addition, some contain caffeine, taurine and other substances that make them potentially dangerous when consumed in large quantities. The versions with synthetic sweeteners aren’t much better (they promote obesity just as much as sugar).

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9. Cakes (3.26)

They also combine refined flours with sugars and fats that are normally saturated or hydrogenated, bringing together three elements that are harmful to health. They also produce glucose spikes that generate a momentary sensation of well-being and energy; after a short time the “come down” arrives.

10. Queso (3,22)

It is very addictive due to the presence of β-casomorfina, an opioid substance that comes from the digestion of casein, a milk protein. The varieties that are most addictive are the highest in saturated fat and, therefore, more caloric.

11. Bacon (3.03)

Bacon is practically pure saturated fat, the oiliness of which makes it highly addictive to many palates. In addition, by frying it excessively, toxic substances are generated that increase your cardiovascular risk.

12. Fried Chicken (2.97)

Look at the composition of the ready-to-batter frozen nuggets: they are full of unknown fats and additives.

13. Popcorn (buttered) (2.64)

They are fast-absorbing carbohydrates plus saturated fat, an undesirable combination. Also, the ones that come in microwave-ready bags are contaminated with bisphenol (an endocrine disruptor) from the plastic.

14. Breakfast cereals (2.59)

They have an incredible amount of sugar hidden under the “health food” facade. In addition, these types of cereals are among the foods richest in acrylamides, carcinogenic substances that are created when foods containing the amino acid asparagine are heated to high temperatures in the presence of some sugars.

15. Steak (2.54)

Its fat is saturated and in high amounts increases the risk of cancer. It is also an unsustainable meat due to the amounts of water needed for its production. It is better to switch to vegetable proteins.

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16. Cupcakes (2.50)

The same thing happens to them as to cookies and cakes. They combine added sugars with refined carbohydrates and hydrogenated or saturated vegetable fats. A triad that must be eradicated from the diet.

Sport Why can it cause us addiction?

Addictive-type eating behavior involves much more than a lack of “willpower,” as there are biochemical reasons why some people lose control over their consumption.

This behavior has been repeatedly linked to ultra-processed foods, especially those high in added sugar and/or fat, designed to be highly palatable, but causing imbalances in the amounts of sugars, fats, and hormones in the blood.

The largest contributor to addictive-type eating behavior is the human brain. You have a reward center that secretes dopamine and other feel-good chemicals when you eat. This mechanism explains why some people like to eat anything so much and forget about their health.

Sport What do addictions hide?

Eating ultra-processed “junk” food releases massive amounts of feel-good chemicals compared to unprocessed foods. The brain wants more super-rewarding foods and a vicious cycle is created from which it is not easy to get out.

According to the study of Newcastle University, the least addictive foods are mostly unprocessed, natural plant foods, such as cucumbers, carrots, beans, apples, brown rice, broccoli, bananas, corn, or strawberries. They are the foods that constitute a healthy diet, with the right calories and abundant in nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

Scientific references:

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