My McDonald’s Habit Isn’t My Fault & It’s Better Than Being a Pothead

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McDonald's I love a variety of healthy ethnic cuisines, shop primarily for organic, whole foods, and spend countless hours reading about the latest gourmet cuisines and techniques. But if no one was looking, and there was a McDonald's cheeseburger sitting next to some foie gras or fancy free-range chicken dish, I'd totally snatch the cheeseburger.

I love fast food. I hate to admit it, but I do. I don't eat it very often, but sometimes, I just must have it. Turns out, it's not my fault either -- my ancestors are to blame.

Recent research found that due to the Ice Age, people with European ancestors are more genetically predisposed to crave fatty foods than those in the East. They needed it bad back then, which makes us feel like we need it now. Scientists found a piece of DNA in our brains that makes us want the fries instead of the frisee salad. I'm quite certain I have this DNA. 

Another recent study found that some people who eat fatty foods get the same kind of high as someone who smokes marijuana. Your pot, my potato chips? It seems that eating fat can induce virtually uncontrollable 'munchies' just like smoking marijuana often does. At least one's driving isn't impaired after a dozen donuts.

In a study with rats, they found that for some, as soon as fat hits the tongue, more hunger is triggered. That pretty much explains why even though I'm not a big eater typically, sometimes after I finish up an Extra Value Meal, I feel like could totally eat another one. (For the record, I've never actually eaten more than one ... unless you include parts of my kids' leftover Happy Meals.)

While all this seems pretty depressing and like I should just give into my genetically induced cheeseburger cravings because it's a helpless fight, it's actually good news. Scientists say this information may someday help them figure out a way to manipulate and regulate the hunger for fat.

"Imagine being able to block this mechanism so that when you reach for your pint of ice cream, you have one or two spoonfuls and that would be fine," study co-author Daniele Piomelli told HealthDay.

It's hard to imagine, but how wonderful would that be? Let's hope they hurry up and figure it out soon.

Do you crave fatty food? Does eating a little of it make you want to eat more?


Image via Link576/Flickr

bad habits, drugs, eating healthy, general health