Addictive Foods

The question is: Are foods meant to be irresistible? I know that some studies have shown sugar is 15 times more addictive than cocaine. The question becomes the food industry taking advantage of how irresistible sugar is in how they make our food? The short answer: Yes.
According to an interview on NPR, Michael Moss has written a book called Salt Sugar Fat. He spoke to leaders in the food industry and how the industry has capitalized on America’s changing eating habits and how the food industry has changed how we eat. It’s quiet fascinating on how market forces drove the food industry to make food the way they do today. I would also say that market forces are again thankfully changing the way we eat food again today. We still have a long way to go but, people are much more aware of what’s good and bad than even a few years ago. As more and more people begin to realize how food is being made and start speaking with their checkbooks, we will see more consumer food companies make more shifts to making foods that are healthier and better for us.
The question becomes what to do in the short term when many foods found at your grocery store are not healthy for you. Here are a few basic tips to keep in mind when shopping at the grocery store:
1. Buy Organic – Buying foods that haven’t been overly processed or altered is always the best way to go.
2. Avoid processed foods – Again, it’s all about taking control of how food is prepared and made. Processed foods add unwanted chemicals and additives that end up being harmful or unnecessary for our gut.
3. Cook your food – I am sometimes surprised by the amount of my patients that don’t cook at home. How and what we cook helps us know exactly what is in our food.
4. Be aware – It’s important to realize what the food industry is doing. The food industry’s main goal is always for you to buy more of their products. The question is: Are these products healthy for you and your family? Don’t be fooled by labels like less fat or 1/3 less calories. Read the labels of products and learn what ingredients are detrimental to your health.

Listen to the NPR Interview here:
http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/02/26/172969363/how-the-food-industry-manipulates-taste-buds-with-salt-sugar-fat

If you have any questions or concerns about your lifestyle or gut health, please do not hesitate to contact my office for an appointment.
Dr. Shah, MD