Junk food craving doesn’t seek a particular time, it seeks a particular food. Khichdi will never excite your tastebuds as much as a Pizza or if you’re a true Indian then Golgappa would gladly do the thing. Comparatively speaking, the food that tickles the tastebuds isn’t good for the body and the best part about this WE KNOW THAT!
Then why is it that the human brain is attracted to the junk food and not health building foods like salads?
More than the willpower and cost it’s important to understand how the human brain perceives Junk food – from the visual appeal to the taste and finally the way it melts in your mouth when you indulge into it. (Yes, it’s your brain that is to be blamed!)
THE VISUAL APPEAL
More colorful and bigger the food, more chances it has to make you indulge into spending bucks to buy it. If you own it then you eat it. Furthermore, if you don’t think about the tasty red tomato sauce spread on the pasta with a dash of oregano and Parsley you wouldn’t be lured by it. The reason of being attracted to a chowmein or a pizza rather than riceballs or salad is the presentation of junk foods with variety of colors.
The deal is this: More colors mean more added preservatives and hence more visual appeal to the food.
THE NEVER ENDING CYCLE OF CRAVING
The brain secretes dopamine which is involved in learning and engaging in new experiences. Now, if you like the taste of that particular food after tasting it for the first time, the brain also secretes opioids, chemicals that signal enjoyment. Basically, it’s your brain trying to trap into the vicious cycle of indulging, craving and further indulging thus training you to repeat the same unhealthy experience.
The junk foods are designed to stimulate craving. Be it the perfect amount of fizz in a cold drink or the perfect crunch in your bag of chips all of this is designed, tested and analyzed by the makers numerous times to ensure the “addiction”. Everything that is added to the food is to ensure a “bliss point”- neither too much nor too little. Once your brain recognizes the bliss point it’s difficult for you to resist the temptation of that food.
Hence, it’s the marketers and your brain conspiring together to promote an unhealthy lifestyle.
So What to Do?
Is it okay to become a slave to your brain and crave for the same foods by going down the memory lane? NO.
It might be easy for the brain to fall for the harmful food and adverse situations but it is imperative to train the brain to accept the positive and adapt to it. Doing this isn’t a herculean task but it requires extreme willpower and keeping a check on you regarding the healthy food habits.
Satisfying the cravings once in a while is perfectly fine but binge eating is bad to brain, heart and body.
Image Credits: Google Images