Are the "Highs" of Addictive Foods Worth the "Lows"?
Consuming addictive foods is one of the oldest unhealthy human practices, and despite a revolution in health consciousness, it shows no signs of dying out. Most of us are fond of at least one product that has the effect of a stimulant and that eventually becomes an addiction. These products include energy drinks, fizzy aerated drinks, tobacco, sugar, strong coffee, strong tea, and alcohol, among others. Studies have linked drinking Sugary Soda and Sports Drinks to Premature Death -- Especially for Women.
Why do these products cause addiction?
Well, they stimulate the hormone-like substances found at the end of your nerves, which triggers an avalanche of similar stimulatory substances, causing you to experience a "high". In clinical terms, a "high" entails rapid heartbeat, a little sweating, dilation or constriction of the eye pupils, a warm flush on the face, and an enhanced sense of sensitivity, concentration, and perception. As the substances near the nerves are depleted, the "high" sensations start fading more rapidly, and you are left feeling listless and low. But mostly, you find yourself craving that specific food again. This yo-yo phase of nerve stimulation and depletion leads to a pattern of addiction.
What side effects can common addictive products have on your body?
Consuming sugary foods and beverages: causes weight gain, may increase the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cellular aging, acne, and depression, and can lead to a fatty liver.
Consuming alcohol: causes the erosion of your stomach and intestinal lining, liver damage, and nutritional deficiency.
Consuming tobacco: causes the erosion of your gum and tongue, which could lead to inner cheek cancer.
Consuming caffeine: found mostly in tea, coffee, and aerated drinks. These become harmful only in very high doses. Therefore, avoid consuming more than five cups a day.
Mixing drugs: People who consume heart, hypertension, and asthma medications need to be careful about the interaction of such drugs with stimulant foods, as mixing the two can be fatal.
There is no doubt that breaking food addictions is difficult. In fact, based on decades of experience with addiction patients from all around the world, doctors admit that addictions are hard to beat. It's not impossible though. Our advice would be to make a compromise: if you can’t break your food addiction, then at least, practice moderation.
Till the next read, challenge yourself to overcome a food addiction!
This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.