This is the perfect comic for the start of holiday season. We think it’s the carbs we’re addicted to, but it’s actually the unarguably tasty combo of salt, sugar, and fat. Over the summer I read a blog post circulating around Facebook that stated we aren’t addicted to sugar as we readily proclaim because while we can’t walk past a cookie jar wanting being tempted, we can easily walk past a sugar container without dipping our hand in. It’s not the sugar content of the food, it’s the palatability. (weightology.net/no-youre-not-addicted-to-sugar/)
While I don’t agree with everything that is said in that post, it certainly got me thinking on about sugar addiction and palatability, because when I have a sugar craving, I don’t reach for sugar packets. Even when I would use honey to satisfy the intense cravings, it was mixed with cocoa powder and often almond butter as well, never just honey straight from the jar.
The combo of salt, sugar, and fat is what keeps us going back for more even when we’re wondering why we can’t stop. This especially happens if we don’t do something to interrupt what I like to think of as the flavor memory, thoughts of how good something was which made me want to go back for more. A package of cookies is a great example. If you’re like me, you keep going back to the package over and over until it’s gone, which might be the same day you opened it. Will power didn’t help anything. Mint gum, on the other hand, easily did the trick and I would quickly forget about the cookies. This is why you’ll often hear/read that brushing your teeth is a good way to stop snacking.
If you find yourself going back for more Halloween candy or holiday treats even when you want to stop, just remind yourself that it’s the palatability that has its hooks in you and find a way to interrupt the flavor memory.
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