Monday, August 22, 2011
How to curb junk food cravings naturally
(NaturalNews) Binge eating of sugary or fatty junk foods brought on by periods of emotional stress or otherwise may be remedied by consuming saturated fat, finds new research. The reason that many are drawn to junk foods in the first place is a nutritional deficiency. Cravings for chocolate may indicate a magnesium deficiency, for example. Similarly, your body may desire saturated fat during your craving for junk food.
The study is one of the first to show that when it comes to food affecting your emotions, taste isn`t everything. Instead, it is "even more rooted in our biology," says Giovanni Cizza, M.D., an obesity and neuroendocrinology researcher at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, in Bethesda, Maryland, who was not involved in the research. In fact, saturated fat may affect the brain by triggering the release of hormones. The connection between the brain and the gut has been well established in the past, with studies indicating that gut health may actually be directly linked to mental health and stability. Poor gut health has been found to be a major factor in the development of depression and even bipolar disorder.
Published in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, they studied 12 volunteers, who were considered healthy and of normal weight. Researchers infused one of two "meal" options into the stomachs of the volunteers: a solution of saturated fatty acids or a saline control solution. After giving the volunteers their meals, researchers played sad classical music and showed them images of faces with sad expressions -- two techniques that have been proven to be effective in inducing sadness in the past. Afterwards, mood surveys indicated that volunteers, who had ingested the saturated fatty acid solution, found the sad music to be far less depressing than those, who were given the saline control solution.
MRI scans taken during the study confirmed the findings; participants, who had consumed the fatty solution, exhibited less activity in parts of the brain that are involved in sadness. The researchers were excited to find that saturated fats helped to curb negative emotions, and the real world implications were quite hopeful as well. Those struggling with straining emotional times, who are often driven to consume health-damaging junk foods, can help ward off these cravings through extra consumption of saturated fat.
Great sources of saturated fat include: coconut oil, organic raw certified butter, , dark chocolate (70% or more cacao content), salmon and other deep water fish, raw nuts and organic eggs.