It’s All in Your Head: Changing Our Attitude Towards Healthy Food
The doughnut or the apple? Soda or Water? Who hasn’t wished they could enjoy a bowl of salad just as much as a container of Ben and Jerry’s Peanut Butter Fudge ice cream? We’ve all seen the Hidden Valley commercials, where somewhere in a magical place, cauliflowers replace popcorn and Salad Eating contests are actually exciting. Unfortunately we don’t live in Hidden Valley; we live in the real world and most of us struggle to get our daily portion of fruits and vegetables because let’s be honest, they simply don’t taste quite as good.
Well, apparently, we don’t actually start our lives feeling that way. Rather, as we grow up, wecondition ourselves in response to the “toxic food environment” in which we live, to think that french fries taste much better than carrot sticks, says Susan B. Roberts, Ph.D. Fortunately, a brand new study done at the Tufts University School of Medicine suggests that it may in fact be possible to train our brains to reverse the process. That is, we may be able to trick ourselves into preferring healthy low-calorie foods over unhealthy higher-calorie foods!
The study carried out by Roberts and her colleagues, monitored the brain activity of a group of overweight men and women, who were enrolled in a weight loss program designed to change how they react to different foods. After six months, the results showed “increased enjoyment of healthier food signals” AND “decreased sensitivity to the unhealthy higher-calorie foods”!
These results seem positive but “there is much more research to be done here” says Roberts. Nevertheless, her team is optimistic that they may have found an alternative to bypass surgery as a weight loss option for obese and overweight people.
We cannot yet say with certainty that these results are conclusive, but this is definitely some food for thought. Anyway, if there’s something we do believe in it is the power of the mind of matter! So while we wait for more results, we’ll just fake it ‘til we make it. After all, an apple a day does keep the doctor away!
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