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If some types of food can make you hungrier than before you ate, than what's the point of dieting? According to a recent study, 52% of Americans believed doing their taxes was easier than figuring out how to eat healthy. That makes selecting the nearly 2,000 pounds of food an average American eats each year more of a challenge than a simple chore.
These days, it seems like there are warnings in place for every food group - even fruit, which we are recommended to eat as many as but not more than four servings daily. Then there are the foods that have lived high up on the list of food 'no-nos' for years, the ones that are tasty entering the mouth but add little in nutritional value and seriously damage both your waistline and quality of life. Some food has been proven to make you hungrier than you had been before. This phenomenon has a lot to do with salt and sugar content, whether naturally occurring or added to a food for enhanced flavor. Eat the ones on this list at your own peril...
Fast food is a category that includes many of the food types most commonly accused of making you hungrier like burgers, fries and pizza, among many others. According to research, at least one in every four people eats some type of fast food every day. As people become increasingly busy, we are more dependent on the convenience of grabbing something 'on the go', and fast food items are a convenient solution. The problem with fast food is that almost everywhere they're sold, the products come wrapped in a carbohydrate-heavy bun, slathered in grease and have harmful components like trans-fats, which clog arteries and inflame the digestive system.
In addition, condiments and bread are riddled with high fructose syrup, which causes sugar levels to rise. Not to mention its sodium content, which is sure to far exceed the 1,500 milligram maximum daily intake recommended by the American Heart Association. These medical debates bleed into ones about legislation, as evidenced by the relatively recent push by policymakers to create laws that help Americans be healthier; That’s why New York Health Officials voted in Fall 2016 to include warning signs on menus on any fast food franchise that has more than 15 locations worldwide.
In addition to fast food, people have become dependent on between-meal snacks, whether it's after school, work or before dinner. Kids notoriously favor salty snacks like chips and pretzels and sugary snacks like cake and candy. This unhealthy food group enables the $124 billion retail snack industry that's been steadily growing for decades proportional to its demand; snacking as a practice has steadily increased to a current norm of consuming at least three snacks daily. Remember that the salt in snacks makes you feel hungrier, as it dehydrates you - making your body think you are hungry.
In reality you are actually thirsty. Sugar, like salt, is one of those things that the more you eat it, the more your body craves it. While it’s especially true in snacks, this is also true for foods with refined sugars like bread and pasta. Those refined sugars make it far too easy to eat more than the recommended serving size. It has also been shown that with salty or sugary snacks, after eating one, you want the other. So while you may have satisfied your salt craving, your sugar craving has kicked into full swing - making you eat double the amount you would have actually eaten.
While it’s crucial to talk about sugar as an additive, some foods naturally produce sugar, like fruit. Nobody would argue that having an apple isn't better than having apple pie, but fruit should still be eaten with caution. Sugar - regardless if it is naturally occurring, added sugar, or artificial -still raises insulin levels. A recent study revealed that fructose, the sugar in fruit, is mostly processed in the liver and fails to stimulate hormones like insulin that are important in helping us feel full. It revealed that volunteers who consumed fructose, as opposed to the glucose found in carbohydrates, resulted in greater activity in the brain and increased desire for more food. This was even true when they were offered a bribe not to give in to their sweet-toothed temptations. “When the study participants consumed fructose, they had a greater willingness to give up the money to obtain immediate high-calorie foods, compared to when they consumed glucose,” said a professor at the Keck School of Medicine.
Food as Fuel
Food is an essential part of life that fuel our days, and while we should enjoy what we eat, it’s important to be mindful about what we add to our diet. Salt and sugar damage your body from the inside out and cause life-long health issues like high-blood pressure and diabetes. The fact that these foods make you hungrier will likely add to your caloric daily intake and put you on a fast track to obesity. Like anything else, foods made with refined sugar, snacks, and fast food items should be eaten in moderation. They act as temporary fixes for hunger, accessible in a pinch so that your hunger doesn't impinge on your day. But keep in mind that the more you rely on unhealthy food, the more your body is going to crave them - so be sure to look for a healthy alternative as often as possible. One trick is to establish a rule of thumb for yourself: For every sugary product you consume - whether a beverage or food - eat a vegetable and drink some water to compensate. That way, you are giving your body not only what it craves, but what it needs to function well.