Are You a Food Addict?

April Peveteaux

are you a food addict

Num, Num, Num

I love food. I love nachos, cheeseburgers (only organic, grass-fed), pizza, cupcakes ... oh, I could go on. But I never considered myself to be a food addict. If only because I do enjoy fresh foods, although I arguably eat more cheese than veggies, and I'm not overweight.

The Food Farce is shining a spotlight on food addiction, and it's making me wonder if my love of cheese isn't actually a stand-in for something else -- similar to a drug addict's love for his next fix.

According to WebMD, some doctors now believe that certain foods, such as beef, cheese, and sugar, can actually cause addictions in people because of the compounds contained in them that have effects on the calming chemicals in our brains such as dopamine.

It's true, just imagining an hors d'oeuvres table filled with cheeses from around the globe is enough to get me to commit to any function, no matter how dull. It calms me to think about the crispy cracker meeting the sharpness of the cheese. I've always said if I were required to give up dairy, I would simply live with the consequences rather than deny myself a daily hunk of cheddar.

So what can we do about food addiction? First, the author points out, be aware that you're being targeted on late night television to go and get your fix. You'll see a significant rise in fast food commercials right around late night snack time.

Second, eat whole foods. For me, that means always having fresh fruit and crispy vegetables stocked in my house. I will reach for an apple instead of a cupcake if I have a fresh new batch from the farmers' market. I also tend to snack on nuts, as long as I remember to buy them at the store. It's a very satisfying way to fill that void.

These healthy foods can't dampen my love for goat, Brie, and gouda, but now that I know it could be a physical reaction akin to slugging back a shot of whisky or 10, I'm certainly going to be more aware of how my emotional state is altered by food.

Do you think you're addicted to cheese, beef, sugar, or sodium?


Image via Joi/Flickr

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