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The Science Of Junk Food - Part 2

24.02.2015

Welcome to the second segment to The Science Of Junk Food. If you missed the first half last week, simply click here to get up to speed.

Large food production companies concentrate on what the general public specify as problems within their lives, and what shortcuts would make their daily life easier. One big group that is targeted are working parents. The school run, and the mad dash of putting together lunch boxes.

 

Have you heard of a Dairylea Lunchable? Containing 33 separate ingredients, 35% of your daily recommended saturated fat intake and 29% of your daily recommended salt intake – they are a booming success. Comprising of highly processed crackers, ham and cheese – in order for it to still be edible after 2 months. These clever identifications have now enabled highly processed food items to be a regular product within children’s diets.

Dwight Riskey, an expert on cravings, stated that if someone was to ingest a higher level of salt or sugar than was recommended, the individual becomes desensitised to it, leaving them craving more. However, if they were to refrain from eating salty or sugary foods for long enough, their taste buds will return to normal sensitivity.

Food companies have realised that eating real meals are becoming less common. People live busy lifestyles, and with that, has come a demand for convenience foods.

Many millions of pounds and hours of dedicated scientific investigations have gone into what makes processed foods seemingly irresistible. Steven Witherly, a food scientist once spoke about the properties of ‘Cheetos’ – the American version of ‘Wotsits’. He listed 12 properties that made Cheetos make the brain say ‘more’. But the attribute he focussed on the most was it’s ability to melt in the mouth. Witherly explained that if something melts down in our mouths quickly, our brains think that there are no calories in it – encouraging you to eat more.

The fact is, that processed foods are not hugely detrimental to our health and wellbeing if eating only very rarely. But as they are seen as regular snacking items, and in some cases, entire meal replacements; it is hardly surprising that our ability to say no is ever weakening. After all, that is the aim of the companies that sell them to us. 

 

Which of these 10 daily habits are making your cravings worse?

A busy lifestyle doesn't mean that you need to eat the first thing that comes to hand - here are 8 tips to simplify your life that will make healthy eating easier than you ever thought possible

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