If you’ve ever found yourself saying that you just couldn’t help yourself when you ate too much chocolate or chips, you just might be right. A lot of people put a lot of work into making sure we keep on eating. There’s a highly competitive, highly secret of industry with one goal: addictive food that is simply irresistible.
These companies rely on deep and pure science to understand how we’re attracted to food and how they can make their foods attractive to us. There is science behind every crunch and also chocolate feels that way in your mouth for a reason.
The food industry is even researching the connection between the taste receptors on your tongue and the corresponding chemical reaction in your brain. The result is carefully engineered combinations of sugar, salt, fat and chemicals deliberately designed so you can’t eat just one.
Why Chocolate Is Addicted?
Chocolate tastes so good because of the sugar in it. It’s tasty and sweet, right? The sugar is also responsible for your addiction to chocolate. In fact, sugar is essentially a drug, not necessarily a terribly bad one or a terribly strong one, but it has drug like effects. To prove this I will give you 2 simple examples:
1. Take a baby’s pacifier, stick it into a water mixed with sugar and put it into the baby’s mouth. Walk out the room and come back about 10 minutes later with lots of other people. What you’ll discover is that the baby ignores everybody and looks only at you. And it doesn’t have to be your baby, it could be anyone’s.
The baby’s taste buds are set for the mild sweetness of breast milk. You just applied sucrose, table sugar to the baby’s taste buds. That triggers a nerve impulse that goes to the base of the brain and opiate chemicals (causes of heroin and morphine) are then released in the baby’s brain. This triggers the release of another brain chemical called dopamine, which is responsible for everything that feels good. The baby was experiencing this while looking at you. Now the baby associates you with all things that are good.
2. If you have a newborn (1-2 days of life) and need to take a blood sample, you typically stick him in the heel with a little lance and get a drop of blood out. If you put a little sugar into the water and dribble it into the baby’s mouth and then stick him, you’ll discover the baby cries much less.
What’s going on here is that you’re triggering the release of opiates, which have a mild anesthetic effect in the baby’s brain.
Of course, when we’re growing up babies, the kind of sugar that we take advantage of is Coke, chocolate, Oreo and many other sweets.
But Chocolate Is not Just Sugar, Right?
The part that we are aware of when eating chocolate is the taste. What is happening in reality is a brain effect in which opiate chemicals are released in response to that taste of chocolate. That is why we are driven to it especially at any time when we need a little anesthesia. If you’re angry, if you’re tired, if you’re annoyed, if you’re alone you tend to turn to these foods and this is a drug effect.
Chocolate is not just sugar. A true chocolate addict is not gonna be happy with a box of table sugar. Besides sugar, chocolate contains:
- Caffeine. And if the sugar is not enough to make the it addicted, caffeine is there to “help”.
- Theobromine, which is a mild stimulant for humans, but it can be fatal to dogs. That’s why you can’t give chocolate to your dog.
- Phenylethylamine, which is an amphetamine like compound that’s in cheese and sausages too.
- Anandamide, which is the compound in the brain that is affected by THC (the active ingredient in marijuana).
So chocolate isn’t really a drug, it’s the whole drug store wrapped up all in one. 🙂
But hey, no one says you can’t eat chocolate, just do it in moderation. Stay healthy!