Monday, March 31, 2014

Things You Need To Know About Processed Foods

By Sam Yang - Get similar updates here

You're supposed to be addicted to junk food. That's the whole point.

Ever wonder why you crave "bad" food? Why you eat when you're bored? Why you can eat so many Cheetos? Why food looks, tastes, and feels the way it does? Was it all by accident or has it been scientifically engineered this way in relationship to how our brain works?

How we get addicted:

Sugar, Salt, Fat - A while back, everyone was talking about how Oreo cookies are as addictive as cocaine. Its magical combination effect made our brains explode! It's something food manufacturers have not only been aware of, but using to engineer desire. The perfect ratio of sugar, to fat, to salty. Few can resist.

Bliss Point - This is the point where our brain hits sensory overload. Pleasure is no longer at a flavor level, but at a chemical one.

Mouthfeel - How the food feels in your mouth. Many of us are texture eaters, we like chewy or crunchy, or small size, big bites, etc. It makes food an experience, almost fun to chew. No longer just food.

Flavor Burst - Why is kosher salt so popular among chefs? Flavor burst. Manufacturers can actually design salt crystals into specific shapes and sizes so it dissolves with maximum flavor and bursts in your mouth, assaulting your taste buds into submission.

Vanishing Caloric Density - Wonder why you can eat so many Cheetos? Food can be designed in a way as to melt in your mouth so quickly that the brain doesn't realize it's eating too many calories. So it's fooled into continuously eating. This is passive over-eating: eating even when you're not hungry. Eating because you think you're bored but really snack foods are manufactured to create this passive eating response.

If this sort of thing interests you, I recommend you pick up Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us by Pulitzer Prize winning NY Times reporter Michael Moss as he delves into this with much greater detail.

Sam Yang writes about efficiency, mindset, science, habits, and martial arts to improve optimal well-being. If this resonates with you, join his newsletterYou can also connect to All Out Effort on Facebook and Twitter.

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