Tuesday, November 9, 2010

An acknowledgment of the fat/sugar cycle

If you have ever tried to come of sugar or fat, you will know that you experience cravings and a moreish drive.  A clinic that has helped >4 000 people reduce their weight and change their eating habits has written a very interesting paper. As these people are "at the coal face" so to speak of the obesity epidemic they have a unique perspective on things. The following quotes are fascinating:

Our hypothesis is that a diet containing an abundance of processed food and low in micronutrient-rich plant foods can create physical symptoms of withdrawal when digestion ceases in between meals

I find this to be very true. When I am on a low sugar diet high in fruits, vege's, whole grains and lean protein I don't get hungry between meals. Furthermore when on a sugar/chocolate/fat diet I get the muchies for chocolate/sugar in the mid afternoon and after dinner.
A “dopaminic high” from ingestion of high calorically concentrated sweets and fats has been documented and leads to subsequent craving of these foods. Very little human research has been done in this area
I have blogged about this before. I long for the day that people see obese people as victims of an addiction just like alcoholics. There is a lot of disproving people who just think over weight people lack self control. As much as we do need to take responsibility for our actions, someone who is on the addiction roller coaster needs very different help to someone just lacking self will. Believe me if we could will away an addiction there wouldn't be any addicts in the world.     
We speculate that the discomfort of withdrawal from the toxins mobilized when one tries to refrain from consumption of pro-inflammatory processed foods and animal products may be also be a major contributor to compulsive eating and consequent obesity.
That is an interesting hypothesis. I have heard about toxins being mobilized (ie a de-tox) when people start to supplement with a good supplement or radically change their lifestyle. However never connected withdraw symptoms to toxin release. Would love to read more on this topic (if anything else exists)

Reference: Joel Fuhrman email, Barbara Sarter email, Dale Glaser email and Steve Acocella Changing perceptions of hunger on a high nutrient density diet Nutrition Journal 2010, 9:51doi:10.1186/1475-2891-9-51 Published:     7 November 2010

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