Alternative, Integrative & Functional Medicine using food

Why-We-Eat-Junk-Food-When-We're-Stressed

22

Apr

2015

Why We Eat Junk Food When We’re Stressed?

“I feel like eating a double cheese burger, right now!” How many times have you told yourself this? We eat unhealthier food when we are stressed is no more a hidden fact. But have we ever wondered what makes us do that? Everyone knows it’s unhealthy for them to eat it but junk food was made to stimulate your taste buds and makes you want more especially when we are stressed. Bad enough it creates bad blood, indigestion; but it also makes you carve more junk later.  Why do we eat more, when we are stressed.


Here is the reasoning behind it –


Stress increases the release of “endogenous opioids” in some brain regions. These have addictive properties. This helps to account for a major reason behind our affinity towards for junk food at such times.


Stress activates another brain chemical called neuropeptide Y that can stimulate the craving for fat and sugar.


Junk foods are designed to convince your brain that the body is getting nutrition, but to not fill you up. Receptors in your mouth and stomach tell your brain about the mixture of proteins, fats, carbohydrates in a particular food, and how filling that food is for your body

Every time you smell, see or read about that food your brain starts to trigger the memories and responses that came when you ate it last.


The most fundamental mechanism to explain this stress effect is that comfort food is, well, ‘comforting.’


However there are ways to curb this too. The best course of action is to avoid buying processed and packaged foods and of course not eating junk foods at restaurants. If you don’t own it, you can’t eat it.


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