We are looking for an answer to why all unhealthy food are so attractive to us.
The basic answer is that unhealthy foods contain a lot of fat and carbohydrates in the form of sugar, which we naturally have been driven to starve for.
Historically, we had limited access to carbohydrates and fat, so it was just about getting as much as possible when you found it. The same drive exists today, but access to energy-efficient food has grown.
We are hungry for certain things in food
If we look at the evolutionary side of the urge for unhealthy things first, man is designed to go for four different qualities in our food.
The four qualities are:
The first three nutrients are vital to us, so we are designed to search for them constantly. In addition, there is crispness which indicates that a food is fresh. That’s why we also look for crispy foods – like apple, carrot or potato chips.
Basically, we tend to eat the things that have high content of what we need, namely fat, carbohydrates and protein.
Thousands of years ago, we were getting most of carbohydrates from berries and fruits, on the other hand protein and fat was coming primarily from meat, fish, cereals and vegetables.
However, those healthy recourses have been replaced with unhealthy ones like a plate of chocolate which contains much more sugar and fat. The response of the brain is similar, it doesnt matter where you get your required nutrients for your body.
If we go back in the era of mourning, the fruit had the highest content of light carbohydrates in the form of sugar, and so we went after them. Since then, the food industry has separated the ingredients from those resourses so that they can selectively put much more of what we really like into the food and make very energy-efficient foods, such as candies and light chocolate.
Sugar releases dopamine into the body
When we take a bite of sweet food, the brain’s entertainment center becomes activated by the taste and begins to release dopamine.
Scary new trend going on
The most dangerous trend of our era is energy drinks. The combination of caffeine and sugar in an energy drink is highly addictive.
Caffeine also stimulates the brain to want more and the combination of sugar and caffeine is dangerously addictive.
“It’s scary that young people have a great tendency to the drinks with both sweet taste and caffeine. The combination keeps them energetic and stimulated. The combination of a large intake of sugar and caffeine can eventually cause serious health problems in the form of obesity.
So; the best way to stay healthy while avoiding those harmful foods is to fool our brains; a.e. by replacing potato chips with crispy apple chips.