Biscuits every day in the office, frappes on-the-go, a takeaway on Friday, a Big Mac on a Saturday…before you know it, you’ve been eating junk all week.
We all know that junk food is unhealthy. We know eating a lot of it can lead to heart problems, high blood pressure and possibly other conditions such as type 2 diabetes, yet we ALL get cravings to eat bad stuff. There have been loads of recent studies looking into why we crave high fat and high sugar foods, so we look at what experts are saying about junk food cravings and how we can combat it to lead healthier lives.
Why do we crave junk food?
It’s all about the sensation.
Recent studies suggest that when you eat tasty food, it’s all about the sensation that makes the experience pleasurable:
The sensation of eating the food. This is what it tastes like (salty, sweet, spicy) and how it feels in your mouth. Food companies selling high fat/sugar products will spend a lot of money trying to satisfying sensation – this can be from the crunchiness of crisps to the fizziness of pop. It’s the sensation that your brain associates with a particular food or drink.
Yep, just blame your childhood. The flavour, smell and even experiences around the comfort foods we ate as a child really stay with us all our lives. Anytime we eat those foods – like a bag of Space Invaders, Lunchables and Smiley Faces (potatoes) – our brain registers that feeling and starts to trigger the memories and responses that came when you ate it as a child.
Mood plays a BIG role too.
Are you ‘pinging’ unhealthy microwave meals high in calories and salt because you’ve had a bad day at work? Reaching for the tub of ice cream because you’ve been dumped? Our mood can really have an impact on the food choices we make – and every time it’ll be junk.
But, did you know if you ate the right foods (healthy foods) your mood would be boosted too. So, the next time you feel blue, try putting together a fast and mood-boosting meal or grab one of our nutritionally balanced shakes and bars. These are delicious and low-calorie, so you’ll avoid sugary, unhealthy junk. Shop below for some of our favourites.