This is one of the most powerful videos I have seen in a long time. Let's face it. There are some foods that are powerfully addictive. Has anyone ever told you why? In this revealing 40 minute presentation, Dr. Neal Barnard MD discusses the science behind food additions. He is the founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). During the first few minutes of his presentation, he gets our attention by telling us how sucrose (simple table sugar) releases opiate chemicals in a babies brain, in turn releasing dopamine, explaining how the mechanisms of food addictions work at the most basic level.
If you have read my other post on Why Diets Fail, you will remember that losing weight is not about having strong willpower. Willpower is not to blame: chocolate, cheese, meat, simple carbohydrates and sugar release opiate-like substances. Opiates, even in small amounts can be very addictive. Like all addictions, you have to find a way to break them. Willpower without knowledge is almost a sure way to fail. So, stop beating yourself up about lack of willpower and start learning how to get free. Your new lifestyle will bring about a healthier you and fat loss will be wonderful side benefit.
During one part of Dr. Barnard's presentation, he related how he was speaking at a university in Texas when he started to get heckled. He was in the middle of cow and pork country when he was telling them of the health problems that we acquire when we eat to much animal fat. The results can bring on heart attacks and prostate problems for men, later on in life. These were young college students he was talking to. Most of them didn't even know how to spell "prostate," let alone know what it was. They did not care about heart attacks either. That was for old men and women. When Dr. Barnard told them that eating high amounts of animal fat can also led to impotence, the crowd grew strangely quiet and listened attentively to the rest of his lecture.
Dr. Barnard explains the chemical breakdown of many of our most addictive foods. Take chocolate for instance. It is not made up of just sugar. It has a whole drug store full of chemicals in it. Have you ever heard that you should not give a dog chocolate? That is because it has something in it called "theobromine." Most people think that chocolate has caffeine in it. Actually, there is less than what you would find in a cup of decaffeinated coffee. It is the theobromine that is what you are addicted to. It is a mild stimulant. To read more about that, go to Modern Science: Chocolate, Caffeine, and Theobromine - Oh My! and learn more about it. Dogs don't deal with this as well as humans and it is like a poison to them. Chocolate also has some other drugs in it like "phenylethylamine," which is an amphetamine like compound that is also found in sausage and cheese. "Anandamide" is also found in chocolate and is the compound in the brain that is affected by THC (the active ingredient in marijuana). So, chocolate is a whole drug store in and of itself.
Do you have arthritis, migraine headaches, menstrual cramping, constipation, prostate cancer, high cholesterol, heart disease, obesity, breast cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, impotence or colon cancer? After watching this video, you might gain a little more understanding about how different foods might affect these conditions and what to do about it.
Dr. Barnard is also the author of two books. The first one is called Food for Life: How the New Four Food Groups Can Save Your Life. Citing overwhelming medical evidence previously downplayed by powerful lobby groups, Dr. Barnard reveals why a diet based on the new four food groups (grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits) will sharply decrease the risk of cancer and heart disease and dramatically increase life expectancy. He also unveils a 21-day program for a smooth transition to the new way of eating healthfully.
The second book is called, "Breaking the Food Seduction: The Hidden Reasons Behind Food Cravings---And 7 Steps to End Them Naturally." Barnard offers seven steps to breaking your food cravings, devoting a chapter to each one, with anecdotes and plenty of clear, sound, practical tips. Then he presents guidelines for healthy eating using "the New Four Food Groups"--vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains--with a three-week menu plan and 113 healthful, vegan recipes.