Can you really have a food addiction?

food addiction

If you haven’t heard the latest news in research, highly processed foods (HPFs) can lead to a  food addiction.  While this process is still being investigated, it appears that HPFs have an ability to rapidly release high amounts of fat and sugar.  The speed at which fat and sugar is released seems to be key in making these foods more appealing and addictive.  In fact, the addictive quality of HPFs has been considered to be on par with that of smoking (1). 


What the research also discovered is that the addictive qualities in HPFs can make it difficult for people to follow dietary changes, even when they want to reduce processed foods for health reasons.  While more research is needed on this topic, it is clear that we can have a food addiction.  If you have been trying to change your diet or lose weight and feel like you’ve been unsuccessful, don’t worry.  You’re not alone.   Our Toronto naturopaths point out that in order to address your dietary and health goals, it is important to first recognize any potential food addictions.  And this may take some time.


Many people have tried to make dietary changes for either health reasons or to lose weight and have not had success.  Changing your diet from old favourites, or comfort foods can definitely present challenges, but it is possible.  Our naturopaths have many skills and strategies that can help set you on your path to healthier habits.


Reference:  (1) Highly Processed Foods ‘as Addictive’ as Tobacco – Medscape – Nov 25, 2022.

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