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Food addictions and insulin response

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  • Food addictions and insulin response

    Hey everyone,

    When I met Tim Noakes a few weeks back, he told me that 50% of EDs are caused by food addictions. What I'm wondering is - are food addictions caused by the food stuff, or by the psychological addiction to the insulin response? Traces are most drugs leave your system within two weeks, so I'm guessing that addictive foodstuffs like sugar and wheat would be the same, yet the cravings for them last much longer.

    Recently I find myself craving foods like yogurt and nuts - and I noticed that yogurt has one of the highest insulin responses of all foods!

    What do you guys think? If the addictions are based on insulin sensitivity, then perhaps it's why so many people struggle to get over their food addictions.
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

  • #2
    I think there is a bit more to it with food.
    Your body might need a certain nutrient and that nutrient might be associated with a certain food.


    • #3
      There are going to be a ton of reasons, and everyone is going to be different.

      There's nutrient deficiency, emotional attachment (memories), the effect of the food on your mood (like sugar), the effect on your mind... it's too hard to pinpoint on thing.


      • #4
        I have no idea what an insulin response to food feels like. I can eat something really sugary, like a pint of sorbet, and not feel any different (with the exception that my pulse gets faster for a short period of time afterward). I don't have sugar highs and crashes. (I'm not talking about binging on sugar, which is a totally different thing, and would result in a stuffed-stomach feeling). Obviously, my body is producing and releasing insulin, I just don't know what it feels like. So, for me, I don't think this has anything to do with craving sugar or food addictions or eating disorders. For me, sugar-binging is purely psychological.

        I've been doing an experiment in the past few days; 3 days of high carb+protein/low fat, 1 day high fat+protein/low carb.

        I wanted to see if my fatigue and low blood pressure could be related to my diet. I expected to be hungry and headachy all the time eating high carb and high sugar (fruit and sucrose only, no junk food or candy), but honestly I felt totally fine. I was even forcing myself to consume more sugar in the form of fresh-squeezed lemonade to get my calories higher. My appetite was fairly low (this could also be due to the hot weather), and I wasn't headachy.

        Today, I'm back to higher fat, low carb+sugar. What I learned from this experiment was that it was critical that I didn't let my high carb/sugar days become an excuse to binge on candy. When I kept it focused on fruit, starches, and raw table sugar, I didn't have a desire to binge AT ALL. Had I gotton my sugar from, say, jelly beans, I would have eaten 3,000 calories worth in one sitting until I had a wicked stomachache and I would have felt like garbage. The reason it's different is that I associate candy with binging - for me it's purely psychological and has to do with associations.

        I'm not saying your theory couldn't apply to some people, but I don't think it applies to me.


        • #5
          as somebody who was anorexic for several decades, i didn't eat. so i'm not sure how that qualifies as a food addiction. or perhaps that's the other 50%?

          when i did regain a "normal" relationship with food, my menus were mostly grain-based and very carb-dependent. eventually this damaged my insulin-response so i "felt" hungry much of the time. i was misguided as far as what constituted a healthy diet, and broken, not addicted.
          As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

          – Ernest Hemingway


          • #6
            "psychological addiction to the insulin response"

            huh? maybe - and i don't buy it - but maybe an addiction to the feeling of elevated blood sugar. that's at least plausible. not insulin though.

            i think it has more to do with flavor and palatiblity, frankly. you don't get addicted to endogenously produced hormones.


            • #7
              Hmmm ... more likely an addiction to exorphins (e.g. in wheat and dairy), or the increased heart rate and other symptoms that are brought on by consuming a food that one is intolerant or allergic to.
              F 5 ft 3. HW: 196 lbs. Primal SW (May 2011): 182 lbs (42% BF)... W June '12: 160 lbs (29% BF) (UK size 12, US size 8). GW: ~24% BF - have ditched the scales til I fit into a pair of UK size 10 bootcut jeans. Currently aligning towards 'The Perfect Health Diet' having swapped some fat for potatoes.


              • #8
                Originally posted by jakey View Post

                i think it has more to do with flavor and palatiblity, frankly. you don't get addicted to endogenously produced hormones.
                I agree. I would back this up by saying that most artificial sweeteners have been demonstrated to not produce an insulin response. However I steer clear of them because(among other reasons) I find the sweet taste to have addictive aspects, which leads to its own set of issues.

                I think the combination of high palatability, plus convenience(think processed/junk foods) is what really lends itself to addictive behavior in foods. Anything that requires preparation adds an extra step that makes you stop and think goes a long way toward breaking the cycle.


                • #9
                  From what I have read about food addictions I tend to believe that the cause is a mixture of nutritient deficiency and psychological reasons (happiness, boredom, anger, etc). In my situation I incline mostly to psychological reasons. Dieting patterns, such as, eating chocolate after the lunch, drinking diet coke after returning from work and eating a lot of yogurt as lunch are my "bad" habits. I (and we) need to find a new habit to replace the bad ones (e.g. drinking hot tea or coffee instead of diet coke, munch on cabbage instead of chocolate and yogurt). I successfully achieved to break the grain-addiction! I don't crave pasta, oatmeal, honey and cereals anymore. I avoid them and honestly, I don't regret for this choice! Actually, I am happy for this change. I cannot describe how hard it was for me to get rid of the grain addiction. I am almost in the end of the way to get rid of the diet coke (and any artificially enhanced food and drink) completely! To my surprise I don't crave chocolate. I have successfully replace milk chocolate with dark chocolate (at least 72% cocoa). Its bitterness makes me not to seek for it and I am happy for this, too. At present, the difficult "enemy" is the dairy-addiction. Low-fat yogurt and cottage cheese are my indulgences! Milk, cheese and ice cream are indifferent to me. But with yogurt and cottage cheese ...oh my...
                  What really helped me to defeat the grain-addiction was the following mentality: "Like you don't seek for alcohol, but you drink it only in special occasions, you should treat similarly the not-so-healthy food choices (the ones that are dense in calories and sugar, but empty in nutritients)." Let's see about my progress on beating my yogurt-cottage-addiction!
                  Last edited by Loukia Maria; 09-29-2012, 09:13 AM.
                  The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanely sensitive. To them…a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death.” Pearl Buck