25 Feb 2015 Blackmores Could this be why you’re addicted to doughnuts? 8559 views 1 min to read The scientific reason why you can’t resist junk food Everyday health Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin 2 comments Most of us have a food, we know it’s not good for us, but we crave it nonetheless. And it seems there could be a very real reason for this. Researchers out of the US claim they have found preliminary evidence that suggests certain foods share properties with other addictive substances. In one of the first studies to examine which foods we are more likely to be ‘addicted to’, the researchers proposed that highly processed foods- think chocolate, pizza, doughnuts, hot chips- would be the main culprit. Their reasoning behind this is that, like other addictive substances, they provide a rapid rate of absorption and a concentrated dose of an ingredient- in these foods that means refined carbohydrates and fats with a rapid rate of absorption according to their glycemic load (GL). GLYCEMIC LOAD: Find out how to make GL work for you What they found was that processed foods, higher in fat and GL, were most frequently associated with addictive-like behaviours. They also found that in people that showed signs of food addiction or with a higher body mass index (BMI) had greater problems with high GL foods (a large blood sugar spike), suggesting they may be more susceptible to the perceived “rewarding” properties of these foods. CRAVINGS CURE: Snack on exercise Study co-author, Nicole Avena said of the findings, “"This is a first step towards identifying specific foods, and properties of foods, which can trigger this addictive response." Avena also notes that by identifying these ‘addictive’ foods the approach to weight management may need to shift the focus away from simply cutting back on certain foods, and look at similar methods used to help with other types of addictive behaviour. Sources PLOS ONE, 2015; 10 (2): e0117959 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117959 University of Michigan News What’s your food addiction? Confess in the comments section below!