Why is it? Once you pop, you can’t stop!

Remember this advertising slogan? Can you relate to it?

Why is it when we start to eat highly processed foods, we can’t stop?

I’ll let you into a secret, it’s not your fault, there is a science behind why when you start you can’t stop!


Here are the top 5 reasons why:

  1. Modern-day food flavour technology is able to fool our brains into experiencing heightened levels of pleasure through highly processed foods like Pringles, by increasing levels of dopamine in the brain, sadly without any of the nutritional benefits. In nature, flavour is associated with nutrition, but these artificially engineered foods abuse this association, by making these processed foods so palatable and moorish, that our brain drives us to want more and ignore our satiety (feeling full) signals.


  1. This synthetic flavour technology not only breaks the connection between flavour and nutrition – it causes the brain to crave these flavours and causes us to seek out these dopamine hits of pleasure, almost like a cocaine addiction. When you put fat and sugar together, it is one of the strongest stimulators of dopamine, which encourages repeat behaviour, and drives overconsumption of these foods. Think about the difference between eating a spoonful of cream or a spoonful of sugar separately, and then think about what happens when we mix the two together. Thinking about caramel, ice cream, chocolate bars, crisps – these create the ‘bliss point’.


  1. Flavour technology and the use of the ‘bliss point’ makes it really hard for us to be able to stop eating these types of foods and can lead to overconsumption and loss of satiety.


  1. Our bodies have many different systems that protect us from a calorie deficit, ie. survival techniques, however, our bodies do not have any mechanisms to protect us from excessive calorie intake.  


  1. In our modern-day society, due to the amounts of processed foods surrounding us, we have lost the ability to know what food is good for us. Have you ever watched animals? They still have that instinctive natural food selection, which means they seek out foods containing the nutrients they lack….. and they know when to stop (unless they are a Labrador!) My cat, when she’s feeling a bit queasy from too much mouse hunting, will go and chew on my plants- she knows it’s what she needs.


So in short, this is why it’s so important to stay away from these processed foods and stick to real foods in their natural forms.