In The News: Craving Fatty Foods? Blame Your Body Chemistry

| 7/7/2011 2:36:19 PM

J.PattonBy now, we’ve all heard about the dangers of a diet high in fatty foods. But that’s doesn’t stop those sinful snacks, such as potato chips and French fries, from being so darn delicious—so delicious it’s impossible to have just one. A new study may explain why you can’t stop at just a bite of these greasy goodies.

The study shined new light on the popular Pringle's slogan,
"Once you pop, you can't stop."
Photo by Lelê Breveglieri/Courtesy

The study, which appeared in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), found that when you eat a fatty food, the brain releases chemicals called endocannabinoids. These chemicals make you hungry and also increase your sense of taste. They are naturally found in marijuana and are believed to cause the phenomenon common referred to as “the munchies.”

The study showed that as fat touched the tongue, the brain received the message and then sent it to the stomach. And what did that message say? “Eat!” So, as you’re shoveling French fries in your mouth, before you’ve even swallowed, your body is already demanding more of that fried potato goodness.

So, the next time you’re getting that craving for a food full of fat, resist the urge to splurge and try one of these healthier alternatives instead:

Photo by Roadsidepictures/Courtesy Flickr