Why your love for rice is an addiction

There is a controversial new topic with regards to health. It is called food addiction.

Research from the Boston Children’s Hospital in Massachusetts suggests that eating foods with simple carbohydrates like white rice, white bread and refined sugar increases hunger and stimulates parts of the brain to make you want to eat even more carbs.

Their data revolved around the glycemic index of different foods.

What is glycemic index, anyway?

Glycemic index (GI) is a scoring system of different foods based on the food’s ability to increase blood sugar levels.

High GI foods are bad.

These foods are rapidly digested and absorbed thus making you hungry right away. A diet composed of mostly high GI foods will make you eat more frequently and gain more weight.

A clue to help you remember: High GI = Fast food = Fat food.

Low GI foods are good.

These foods are slowly digested causing a gradual rise in blood sugar levels and leaving you feeling busog or satisfied for a longer period of time. Examples are fruits, vegetables, cheese, beans and brown rice.

Another clue: Low GI = Slow food = Low weight.

How did the research correlate GI with addiction?

The subjects were divided into two groups. One group was given milkshakes containing ingredients with low glycemic index. The other group drank high GI milkshakes.

Many factors were monitored and were consistent with findings from previous researchers. Volunteers who drank the high GI milkshake showed a rapid rise in blood sugar followed by a crash within 4 hours. They also answered a questionnaire proving that they wanted to eat more carbs on their next meal.

What was significantly different with this new data presented was found in the brains of the high GI subjects.

An MRI was performed on both groups. The findings were consistent. Every single person in the high GI group showed intense activity in the nucleas accumbens, the part of the brain responsible for addiction.

What does the brain say about eating carbs?

The more you eat carbs, the more you want to eat carbs…and eat carbs…and eat carbs.

The health benefit of knowing this information is to avoid foods with high GI index. The Filipino diet is rich in high GI foods such as rice, bibingka, kakanin, puto, pancit, plus a little foreign influence like french fries, donuts, pasta and pizza. By avoiding these, you will prevent overeating, weight gain, and even diabetes.

This explains why the Filipino, wherever he is, whatever country he is in, will always look for rice.

 

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