What are the most addictive foods in our pantries?

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Some products are as addictive as drugs. The cause is its compounds that stimulate the production of pleasure hormones in the brain.

It's the hellish duo: French fries and chocolate. These two foods seem to be able to put us in a state of addiction close to that of a drug. But why are we so dependent? Why is it so difficult to stop when we open a package of chips or a bar of chocolate? the responsible is our brain. These foods trigger a particular reaction that stimulates the production of dopamine, a hormone related to pleasure and reward. It is for this reason that our mental strength is reduced to zero compared to foods rich in salt or sugar and fat combined.

The chocolate

Scientists have seen the addictive effect of chocolate for several years. If we are so addicted to it, it is because it stimulates the pleasure areas of the brain, just like alcohol and certain drugs, according to a 2011 study cited by the Reader summary. Its creamy character, particularly pleasant in the mouth, is associated with the production of oxytocin, another hormone of happiness.

The amount of sugar-fat

What interests us a little more is the creamy part of the chocolate. The fact that a square can melt in seconds in our stimulating tongue the pleasure centers of the brain. And finally, the presence of fats and sugar is crucial for our addiction. If you look at the ingredients in a chocolate bar, you will notice that it is made up of about 20-25% fat and 40-50% sugar. In nature, it is almost impossible to find such high levels of these two components at the same time.


Bowls full of chips, pretzels, and appetizer crackers make us addicted. Although there are no specific compounds in these foods, they are classified as addictive because they rapidly increase a person's energy level. But that energy will burn quickly, and the urge to eat more will go away after a few minutes. Hence the need to fill in again and again.

A recent study was presented at the ACS (American Chemical Society) conference by researcher Tobias Hoch of the Emil Fisher Center at Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. He tried to identify what can be called our "addiction" to potato chips. And to do this, he tested on rats. Assuming that potato chips were attractive because of their high fat and carbohydrate content, the rats gave different foods, but all foods contained the same doses of fat and carbohydrates. Rats ate the same amount in all groups, but the group that ate the potatoes indicated signs of increased activity. They were "stimulated".

To go further, our researchers also observed the brain activity of rats using an advanced MRI system. They found that the areas of the brain corresponding to the reward and addiction systems were more stimulated in the rats that ate the potato chips. Therefore, there is a trigger for pleasure caused by potato chips, the problem of the amount of fat and carbohydrates.

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