Study finds ultra-processed foods to be as addicting as nicotine, cocaine, and heroin
SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - “If it comes in a bag, a box or a can, and it’s good for a couple of years, it’s probably not too good for my body,” Brain Performance Center CEO, Leigh Richardson said.
According to a study by a University of Michigan Professor, ultra-processed foods are just as addictive as nicotine, cocaine or heroin.
Leigh Richardson studies brain activity and says sugar is a neurotoxin that bears similar side effects of drugs.
“Sugar can make you anxious. Sugar can make you fidgety, sugar can make you irritable,” Richardson explained.
It’s not an accident that you end up at a vending machine filled with processed foods that may not have the healthiest options.
Some experts say we gravitate towards these snacks because like a drug, they can become addicting.
“And the more you feed that, the more dopamine gets kicked out into the brain. and it goes from, I like it, I want it, I need it, and that’s where that addiction occurs,” she continued.
Sugar isn’t the only ingredient in ultra processed food that can cause these negative effects.
She shares that brains affected by addiction can be seen along the cingulate gyrus, which is responsible for bringing information from the back of your brain to the front.
“I’ve looked at a lot of addicted brains in my time, and nine times out of ten, you’ll see that you’ll see something going on along the cingulate,” Richardson said.
While you may not be able to change the ingredients of your favorite snacks, you can be more aware when hitting the grocery store.
Copyright 2023 KXII. All rights reserved.