Why is it that it’s so easy to skip out on vegetables, but so difficult to kick the fast food habit? We always suspected that sugar and fat were addictive, but now we have scientific evidence to back that up.A new study from Dr. Nicole Avena of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has tested and ranked various food items in order of addictiveness. The least addictive foods on the list, like apples, beans, brown rice, cucumbers, and carrots, are all natural, unprocessed foods that are low in fat and sugar compared to the most addictive foods on the list. Unsurprisingly, our biggest food crutches are pizza, chocolate, potato chips, cookies, and ice cream. Nature can be unfair sometimes. It would be much healthier if we could be addicted to cucumbers rather than chocolate.
It should be noted, however, that the study is based on anecdotal evidence from 500 participants who revealed their problem foods. The results, then, should not be shocking. We’ve never heard of anyone who was addicted to apples or carrots, after all.
Avena is hoping that the results of her study will help to diagnose and treat binge eating disorder and food addiction, and will provide more evidence that certain foods may be as habit-forming as drugs. We already know that Oreos can be just as addictive as cocaine.
"This could help change the way we approach obesity treatment,” said Avena in a statement. “It may not be a simple matter of 'cutting back' on certain foods, but, rather, adopting methods used to curtail smoking, drinking and drug use."