How you can cut out ‘the crave'
Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 25, 2013 at 1:30 p.m.
Q: Is it true there are foods that are designed to be addictive?
— Joy D., Annapolis, Md.
A: It's true, some food manufacturers engineer products to contain (from their point of view) the optimal balance of sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. Then you feel maximum "crave" and keep eating, drinking and buying more of their products. It's what they call your bliss point! We kid you not; they aim for that sweet spot that keeps you coming back for more. It's why you'll find sugar in spaghetti sauce, peanut butter, ketchup, yogurt and — watch out for this! — low-fat, processed, frozen foods that say "Healthy" or "Lean" on the package.
Sugar substitutes are another ingredient food manufacturers use to entice you to eat and repeat. These fake sugars trick your body into thinking that you've had real sugar, but then leave you wanting more, more, more. And here's a (horrifying) fun fact: The International Dairy Foods Association and the National Milk Producers Federation have petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to change the "standard of identity" of milk so that "any safe and suitable sweetener, including non-nutritive sweeteners such as aspartame" can be added to milk without listing the ingredients on the label. We say you can't put any additive into a food and not identify it on the label — that's a health hazard.
Fortunately, it's easier to break bad-for-you food habits than you might think: You need to make a 168-hour commitment. For one week give up all sugary and artificially sweetened foods. Want a sweet? Grab a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts. Your body will detox as those hours tick by, and pretty soon you'll be loving how much better you sleep (no blood sugar ups and downs) and how much happier you feel (as inflammation goes down mood goes up!). Now, that's sweet!
Email your health and wellness questions to Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen at youdocsdaily@ sharecare.com.
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