Just say no: Processed food turns Americans into malnourished, dumbed-down addicts
(NaturalNews) Authorities often call marijuana an addictive “gateway drug.” The US Drug Enforcement Agency classifies cannabis as a Schedule I drug, more addictive than methamphetamine and cocaine. SWAT teams are deployed on growing operations and legal dispensaries. People can be jailed for months to years when caught with various amounts and parts of this plant.
At its worst, cannabis allows people to relax and have a good time. Indulging in the recreational “high” of the THC of cannabis isn’t physically addictive. At its best, cannabis can be bred for other cannabinoids that assist the body in healing seizures and cancer, among other health issues. In other words, cannabis is not something that we should be at war with.
If we should be fighting a war, it should be against a much more addicting substance called processed food.
Food addictions more rampant and more dangerous than drug addictions
A new study from the University of Michigan confirms that highly processed food like pizza, doughnuts, French fries, boxed pastries and chocolates are more addictive than any other substances that we put in our bodies. The euphoria that processed food brings to the taste buds and the brain is short-lived, and yet the consequences of this addicting food include some of the most deadly and destructive health conditions — diabetes, obesity, cancer and heart disease.
The added fat and refined carbohydrates, as found in white flour and sugar-based processed food products, are the real addictive substances destroying mankind. These addictive food substances can easily dominate a person’s life, causing substance dependence. This substance dependence causes people to become dumbed-down addicts who only look to get their fix of junk on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter how miserable they become — they seek their processed food “high” despite the health risks.
The irony: A gun-wielding, doughnut-toting authority figure consumes more addictive contraband (in the form of white flour and sugar pastries) than the person he jailed who was just smoking a little bit of cannabis.
Food addictions leave people malnourished, destroying their quality of life
The lead author of the study, Erica Schulte, a U-M psychology doctoral student, said they studied several individuals who actually showed severe symptoms of food addiction. Those with a higher body mass index had the worst problems overcoming their addiction to processed foods. Many were sensitive to the “rewarding” properties of the foods. The processed foods trick their minds into thinking that they are full, but in reality the junk is only starving the person of nutrition.
In contrast, unprocessed foods, like brown rice and salmon, did not inflict addictive-like eating behavior. Schulte said, “If properties of some foods are associated with addictive eating for some people, this may impact nutrition guidelines, as well as public policy initiatives such as marketing these foods to children.”
Co-author Nicole Avena said that preventing food addictions should be prioritized right along with preventing drinking, cigarette smoking and harmful drug use. “This is a first step towards identifying specific foods, and properties of foods, which can trigger this addictive response,” she said. “This could help change the way we approach obesity treatment. It may not be a simple matter of ‘cutting back’ on certain foods, but rather, adopting methods used to curtail smoking, drinking and drug use.”
As a culture, we are focused on demonizing a plant like cannabis and jailing people over it, yet we continue to consume much more addicting and destructive processed foods en masse on a daily basis.
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