Cooked Food: Most Addicting Drug in the World – Part II
No mysterious ingredient. The Cadbury’s secret is out. Chocolate is drug-like in its effect. Sugar’s chemical structure is more than ironically similar to Cocaine’s chemical structure. Artificial taste explodes in the mouth with crunchy, smooth, sweet flavors, supplying intense pleasure, creating dozens of different neuro-chemical reactions in different parts of the brain. Every texture and nuance of taste contrived to stimulate your 9,000 taste buds into sending pleasure signals to the brain. The intensified pleasure effect is addictive. We don’t care about the additives or empty calories. Chocolate junkies, for example, crave a fix, driven by the desire for that chocolate pleasure. Pleasure for which we will pay any price, even our health.
Chocolate bars are loaded with salt, sugar, caffeine and fat, up to 300 calories per bar. Like a body demanding heroin for its balance, the body will crave sugar, salt and fat. Take candy from a sugar junkie, and look out! Quitting causes withdrawals. Remove sugar, processed fat or salt from your diet, and you will crave them. You will go through the discomfort of facing withdrawal similar to the withdrawal from drugs. Ever do the master cleanse? If you want to experience a truth bigger than you could ever see, do the master cleanse for 6 days, and you will never look at things the same again. Not even yourself or your own personality.
Strawberries and bananas don’t cause cravings. You never feel guilty about eating too many cantaloupes. You never hear little voices in the back of your head saying eat, eat, eat cantaloupe. No, because natural foods balance the body and physical cravings are caused by biochemical imbalance. Natural, raw foods do not effect the brain like cooked, or artificial foods do. Street drugs, alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, salt, saturated fat, refined starch and refined sugars cause cravings because they imbalance the body’s chemistry — they even change the psychophysiological development of the brain. The exact same thing that all drugs do.
Addictive substances cause the body to become dependent on an unnatural substance for homeostatic balance. Removing it will cause withdrawals. During withdrawal, the addict suffers through the painful readjustment as the body cries out for the missing substance. In a desperate attempt to maintain homeostasis, (chemical balance) the body demands the very substance that caused the imbalance.
The body’s homeostatic balance is affected by diet. Consumption of massive amounts of sugar, salt, caffeine or fried foods drastically affects homeostatic balance. Natural hunger becomes distorted as the body craves for the substances necessary for balance. The body reacts as it would to any addiction. Powerful cravings override the body’s natural needs.
Cooked food weakens your immune system. Many believe that cooking is needed for food to get rid of bacteria and make it more digestible. True, there are a few vegetables that are more difficult for some to digest raw, such as those in the cruciferous family (broccoli), but most foods do not become more digestible once cooked.
In 1930, Dr Paul Kouchakoff observed that after eating a meal, a person`s white blood cells (leukocytes) would increase (famous discovery). An increase in white blood cell count usually indicates a stress reaction by the body. Eating a raw meal does not have this same effect on the body. He also observed that most foods that have been altered produce this immune suppressing effect. Your immune system is basically finishing your digestion process for you, which is a function that it is not meant to do.
You can minimize this effect quite easily. If you have anything cooked on your plate, you should have fresh, raw vegetables to go with it. As well, chewing your food thoroughly will lessen the immune response of the cooked food.
The best practice is to eliminate as much processed, altered, and cooked food from your diet as you can. That includes milk, as it is pasteurized and homogenized. That also means removing sugar and white flour from your diet.
Getting used to eating most meals with a big salad, or some cut vegetables will save your immune system a lot of harm. After years of only ingesting cooked foods for every meal – you can imagine the toll this has unknowingly put on your immune system. If you at least include raw vegetables with your cooked meals, you are giving your immune system a break. It has other effects, like keeping you healthy!! Cooking also can take away the antioxidants, and reduce the amount of bioavailable vitamins. So you are doubling your benefits when you eat raw.
Food allergies can also cause an addiction-like dependence due to homeostatic disturbance. Your favorite foods are usually the ones to which you are addicted. You usually feel better immediately after eating the food that you are addicted to, but shortly afterward the allergic reaction produces a feeling of irritability. It causes flatulence, nausea, depression or headaches. Milk, wheat and eggs are the most common allergic foods. Each contains large protein molecules with strong glue-like bonds. If the appropriate enzyme necessary for digestion is not available, these protein molecules enter the blood undigested. The immune system attacks these fragments as if they were invaders. Homeostasis has been imbalanced, and if these foods are continually eaten, the body will need them for homeostatic balance, causing an allergen-based food addiction.
The brain has 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion connectors for memory alone. Each brain cell is dependent on homeostatic balance to function properly. High doses of sugar, salt, fat and caffeine can cause imbalances in the brain’s normal chemistry. Eating natural foods allows the brain’s chemistry to function normally. Natural foods assist homeostasis, supplying vitamins, minerals, soft fibers, cell salts and enzymes to assist the body in maintaining balance. In a balanced state, hunger is in relation to the body’s need for nutrition.
Eating processed food creates cravings for more processed foods. Eat fried foods, and you crave more. Eat cooked food, and you crave it. Eat sugar-filled food, and you will crave it. The Hostess Munchies are nothing more than disguised cravings for salt and fat. They promise satisfaction, but artificial pleasure never satisfies. It is a pleasure that takes by first giving. It steals valuable nutrition from your diet by feeding your body empty calories.
Addiction in the Brain
Scientists are discovering that psychological addiction has a common factor. All mood-altering drugs elevate levels of the neurotransmitter in the brain, called dopamine. Tobacco, cocaine, heroin and caffeine elevate dopamine levels and cause a feeling of euphoria. Dopamine may be the master molecule of addiction.
Neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, control how the brain works and what we feel. When you feel pleasure from eating or falling in love, receiving a compliment, it is dopamine that causes the feeling. Every experience that humans find enjoyable may be linked to dopamine whether that be listening to music, savoring chocolate, sex or shooting heroin.
Fifty neurotransmitters have been discovered to date. A good half dozen are associated with addiction by causing a feeling of euphoria. Serotonin is another interesting neurotransmitter. It has a sedating effect. This neurotransmitter can be affected by rhythm, such as stroking the hair, slow deep breathing or a rocking motion. It is possible that the desire for the serotonin effect enforces repetitive habits such as nail biting, playing with hair or nose picking. There is a repetition and a rhythm to these habits. It may be an unhealthy attempt at trying to gain comfort from the serotonin effect. Starches have been known to have a calming effect on the brain due to increased levels of serotonin. We are using junk-food, starch, drugs, and bad habits to adjust our feelings through stimulating our neurotransmitters.
The pleasure effect of neurotransmitters is designed by Nature to form healthy, natural dependencies. A wholesome pleasure that motivates us to find good tasting food, comfortable shelter and loving relationships. Dopamine and serotonin reinforce healthy actions and behaviors.
Dopamine has a powerful ability to form triggers. During pleasure, neurological pathways are being formed that will trigger a physical and emotional reaction to repeat that pleasure. We know it as an urge. We feel impelled. Our minds can become fixed on pleasure until we think of nothing else.
Intense pleasure forms the most powerful triggers. For this reason, sex, drugs and food create the most powerful urges. A syringe, rolling papers, an X-rated video, McDonalds, anything that is associated with the pleasure, becomes a trigger for these powerful urges. Compelled by an urge, we feel pulled toward pleasure like steel to a magnet. The emotions overdrive and our body quivers with adrenaline. An addict may shake and sweat with the anticipation of pleasure. A tennis player may also experience the same reaction before a championship. The body and mind are being prepared for action.
Urges are powerful at motivating us towards good or evil. We can feel the urge to pray, the urge to be kind, the urge to create or build, or we can feel the urge to destroy. Yet, even the most powerful urge cannot negate our responsibility. We can never blame an urge for the action we have formed, built and accepted. We have given it power from the thoughts that we allowed to form.
Drugs hijack the natural reward system of humans. Smoking a joint feels like the relaxation similar to two hours in the gym. Heroin gives a pleasure similar to “runners high,” the euphoric state experienced during long distance running. But, like all mood-altering drugs, the pleasure is stolen. It has not been gained honestly through effort, achievement or challenge.
Processed food hijacks the taste buds, stealing pleasure without giving nutrition. In nature, foods that taste good are good for us. Sweetness is an indicator of calories. Saltiness is an indicator of mineral content. A bittersweet taste, like lemon, is a sign of cleansing acids and vitamins. We like food with fats and oils because they supply calories and essential fatty acids. Natural oils and fats are high in calories and fat-soluble vitamins. Healthy food has a wholesome taste, a pleasure intended to reinforce healthy behavior.