These are foods that are most likely to stir up an unstoppable food binge.
- When it comes to concocting addictive substances, Walter White had nothing on present-day food marketers. Like the antihero of Breaking Bad, the scientists of food companies nowadays engineer the taste, feel, smell as well as the sound of their products in ways that stir up neurological pleasure centers—all while deleting all the annoying nutrients (like fiber and protein) that might get in the way.
- And as customers, we’re hooked: According to a new analysis of U.S. grocery buys, processed foods form over 60 percent of all the calories Americans purchase. And “the highly processed foods that households are purchasing are higher in fat, sugar and salt, on average, compared to the less-processed foods,” says Jennifer Poti, Ph.D., research assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who led the study.
- The editors at Eat This, Not That! Magazine have identified the main culprits—foods that are most likely to stir up an unstoppable food binge—and provided quick, healthy, alternative snacks that will restrain your addiction and get you off the junk. And drop that flab for good! Wanna lose up to 16 pounds in 14 days? Check these 9 Best Flat-Belly Superfoods up! And they are delicious as well.
#5 Most Addictive Food: Dorito
- Doritos can be likened to a cheap blended vodka, as they are so designed to go down in one fast, desperate binge. The recipe for the well-liked chip was exclusively designed so that no single flavor overpowers another. When foods lack a dominant flavor, people are less likely to feel full and, therefore, eat more, say researchers.
- Moreover, one of the first ingredients on the food’s label is monosodium glutamate (MSG), an additive that actually increase appetite and make foods taste more appetizing. And the powerful savory taste lingering in your mouth is in fact a ploy called “long hang-time flavor” that’s used to lure snackers into going back for more.
- Eat This Instead: Beanitos Nacho Cheese White Bean Chips. Made from beans just one serving of these chips have a whopping 6 grams of belly-filling fiber, which slows digestion and alerts your body when it’s eaten its fill. Furthermore, they have ZERO MSG and other chemicals that can overpower your natural willpower.
#4 Most Addictive Food: Cheetos
- This orange, puffy snack melts the moments it strikes your tongue —a phenomenon scientists have nicknamed “vanishing caloric density.” And it’s no fluke.
- Food developers know that foods that melt quickly, trick the brain into thinking you’re not consuming as many calories. That gives our subconscious approval to gobble down a much larger serving. Even the sound Cheetos produce when you bite into them was specifically developed to get you hooked; we relate the crackling with freshness, says a recent Oxford University study.
- Eat This Instead: Blue Diamond Natural Almond Nut-Thins in Cheddar Cheese. These crackers made from rice-and-almond offer a Cheeto-esque taste with three grams of hunger-busting protein per serving. Furthermore, they come without those tricky vanishing calories that cause us to overeat.
#3 Most Addictive Food: Oreos
We predict a reality show dubbed Celebrity Oreo Rehab. The fact is these chemical-packed disks are more addictive than cocaine as well as morphine, as per a 2013 animal study. Researchers fed rats rice cakes, Oreos or gave them injections of cocaine or morphine, then studied the effects of each on the pleasure center of the brain. They found that Oreos lit up the little mice’s membranes even more than the drugs—which makes it clear why it’s so hard to eat just one.
- Eat This Instead: Nothin’ But Chocolate Coconut Almond Granola Cookies. This treat combines almonds, oats, chocolate, coconut, cane sugar, spices and espresso powder — and helps slim you down.
#2 Most Addictive Food: M&Ms
M&Ms may well be the ideal sugar delivery vessels. As per a Swiss study, even when chocolates have identical recipes, people rate the round versions as having the most satisfying texture—perhaps because they melt very quickly.
- Shape alters perceived sweetness, as well. When Cadbury, in 2013 remolded their chocolate bars to be more rounded, testers found that the chocolates seemed sweeter—even though the recipe hadn’t been reformulated. We get fooled by the shape so we overeat.
- Eat This Instead: Endangered Species Natural Dark Chocolate with 88% Cocoa. We suggest you eat sweet milk chocolate M&Ms instead of a dark chocolate bar. It has a slightly bitter taste, and thicker, flatter shape, so melts slowly, making the bar less addicting.
#1 Most Addictive Food: French Fries
In a study by University of Michigan researchers (on addictive foods and the trouble they cause with portion control), the subjects ranked French fries at the very top of the list. The researchers concluded that because of their combination of fat and starch content, and their highly processed nature, French fries ranked at the very top of the list of foods most associated with problematic, addictive eating behaviors.
- Eat This Instead: Homemade fries. Cut a potato lengthwise into strips, sprinkle over it a few spritzes of coconut-oil cooking spray (a fat less apt to be stored as flab than butter or lard), pepper, rosemary and garlic powder, cook in an oven set at 350 degrees F until they’re crispy. At a restaurant, ask your server for a side of greens or a fruit salad in lieu of spuds.