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Why Humans Like Junk Food: The Inside Story on Why You Like Your Favorite Foods, the Cuisine Secrets of Top Chefs, and How to Improve Your Own Cooking Without a Recipe! Paperback – June 11, 2007
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In other words: Just why was it that I can have a craving for Ice Cream, French Fries and Doritos but not Celery or Turnip?
Steven Witherly, PhD. did an awesome job collecting and interpreting current research in food hedonics and metabolism uncovering the many hidden relationships between the brain, taste and olfactory senses, mouthfeel and (to me very new) stomach that make up the feelings of desire for food and just how do food memories that drive these desires get formed (in the Amygdala, of all places, yup - all emotion!).
For me, the results were depressing: my body sent signals that had me craving for foods I knew from previous experience were high with calories. Fooling it with low calorie substitues might satiate my olfactory system, but would not fool my stomach which would analyze the food for calories. Yup, my memory of Greasy French Fries, crispy and salty on the outside, with fatty acid hedonics and associated calorie were forever keeping me looking for the big-M that promised to deliver satiety (and consequential weight gain).
So in a sense, reading this book is like taking the "red pill" (from the Matrix) into understanding what hedonic components are used by our brain as memory triggers that form the desires that drives our most basic function - finding the energy required to sustain life. Avoiding calorie intake is about avoiding the memories that drive the "want/need" reaction (stay away from the burger joint) and/or eliminating the first exposure to it (indeed - is it possible to keep our kids away from Burgers and Fries?).Read more ›