The white stuff in between your Oreo cookies may be a "cream" filling, but new research suggests it might as well be cocaine.
According to a new study from Connecticut College students and a professor of neuroscience, Oreo cookies (given to lab rats) are just as addictive as cocaine. And yes, just like most of us, lab rats went for the middle first.
“Our research supports the theory that high-fat/high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” said Professor Joseph Schroeder in a statement. “It may explain why some people can’t resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them.”
Schroeder and his team found that lab rats formed an "equally strong association" between the pleasure of eating an Oreo cookie and being in the same environment as cocaine or morphine. Research showed eating Oreos activated more neurons in the brain's "pleasure center" than being exposed to drugs.
Several studies have shown sugar itself is just as addictive as drugs like cocaine and often cause deadly diseases like obesity, diabetes and cancer. Health professionals are particularly concerned about our daily sugar consumption because it's in almost everything we eat.
For the Connecticut College study, lab rats were put in a maze with an Oreo cookie on one end and rice cakes on the other. Of course, unsurprisingly, all of the rats went toward the Oreo first.
The team then took these results and compared them to another study that injected lab rats with a shot of cocaine or morphine on one side of a maze and a shot of saline on the other. The result? The rats gravitated toward the "drugs" just like they did with the Oreos.
“Even though we associate significant health hazards in taking drugs like cocaine and morphine, high-fat/high-sugar foods may present even more of a danger because of their accessibility and affordability,” said neuroscience major Jamie Honohan.
Sure Oreos are still delicious but do you think they're addictive? Let us know in the comments below:
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Ditch any food that lists shortening or partially hydrogenated oil as an ingredient, since these are also evil trans fats. In addition to clogging your arteries and causing obesity, they also increase your risk of metabolic syndrome. Choose healthier monounsaturated fats, such as olive, peanut and canola oils and foods that contain unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids instead.
'White' Processed Foods
When a whole grain is refined, most of its nutrients are sucked out in an effort to extend its shelf life. Both the bran and germ are removed, and therefore all the fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Because these stripped down, refined grains are devoid of fiber and other nutrients, they’re also easy to digest — TOO EASY. They send your blood sugar and insulin skyrocketing, which can lead to all sorts of problems. Replace processed grains with whole grains, like brown or wild rice, whole-wheat breads and pastas, barley, and oatmeal.
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Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)
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