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14-AreYouaFoodAddictAre You A Food Addict (or not)?

Do you consider yourself a food addict?  Do you feel helpless and powerless over sugar, white flour and processed foods?  Maybe you are a food addict.

Then again, maybe not.

In this episode, Dr. Nina reports on the science behind the concept of food addiction, which correlates various foods with increased dopamine levels.  Dopamine is a chemical that regulates pleasure in our brains.

 

She presents evidence against the concept of food addiction, including a study that correlated listening to music with increased dopamine levels*.  She also explains the difference between a “process” addiction (addiction to a behavior) and a substance addiction (addiction to specific substances, such as alcohol, drugs, or food).

Dr. Nina explains that in the absence of other pleasurable activities, people become overly reliant on food to raise their dopamine levels.  The more fun things you do, whether that’s working out, spending time with friends, having fun – that raises the dopamine, too – the less you need food for that purpose.

Listen to the full episode for more on this topic.

*Salimpoor VN. Anatomically distinct dopamine release during anticipation and experience of peak emotion to music.  Nature NEUROSCIENCE. Feb 2011;14 (2): 257-262.

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