Last Updated on September 16, 2020
Let’s talk about junk food withdrawal.
I read an interesting study out of the Avena lab at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. This team discovered that when people eat highly processed foods, particularly those with artificial coloring, they can get quite addicted. These findings refer to foods like donuts, fast food burgers and fries, and deep-fried chicken. You know, the types of foods that are full of sugar, processed fats, artificial colors, and an assortment of preservatives.
When people come off of these foods, there is a certain element of withdrawal symptoms. Not unlike a cannabis withdrawal or a caffeine withdrawal. So remember, when you eat foods that are very sweet, colored, and man-made (rather than naturally occurring), there’s a potential for addiction. In my opinion, the strength of this addiction gets higher as more of these foods are consumed.
This may explain why yourself or someone you know keep going back to that can of pop, that half-eaten donut, or that bag of candy. It can be hard to give up those fake foods. My advice, especially if you have children, is not to get them started on processed food. Instead, please encourage them to eat healthy food. I’ve never seen people have withdrawal or addiction coming off broccoli, brown rice, fish filets, or eggs.
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I’ve never heard of an egg addiction, but I’ve heard of donut addictions.
Be careful. When you start eating or drinking junk food regularly, and you try and break the habit, you may have withdrawal symptoms. There could be anxiety, depression, sleep disturbance, and other symptoms.
The key thing is not to go cold turkey. If you’re going to start a new healthy diet, I recommend warm turkey. My book Candida Crusher explains what warm turkey is all about. But in short, it’s about coming off of foods over a two to three week period rather than overnight.
My decades of work as a naturopath has shown me that when you eat natural foods rather than supermarket foods, you don’t end up with weight, fatigue, or sleeping problems.
Don’t fall into the junk food trap in the first place. You especially want to avoid brightly colored, highly processed foods that contain a collection of chemicals.