Potato chips are a common go-to solution for combating boredom, stress, cravings, and low energy, but it’s easy to get addicted to them and eventually gain weight. The food industry spends a fortune engineering hyperpalatable foods such as potato chips that we keep going back to, thanks to their “bliss point.” And potato chips aren’t just one food product that food industry engineers – there are a lot of other products out there. The bliss point in food triggers the brain’s reward center and causes the release of dopamine, leading to feelings of pleasure and euphoria. This can create an addiction to certain foods and result in a cycle of overeating and weight gain. Over time, our bodies become accustomed to these foods, and we need to consume more to achieve the same dopamine rush as before. The food industry uses many tactics to sell their products, to make them more appealing and addictive to consumers, but they lead to a cycle of overeating and weight gain. In this article, we list out a few popular tactics that you should be aware of so as to not fall into the cycle of overeating and weight gain, and put health at risk.
1. By Engineering Foods To Make Them Hyperpalatable: Hyperpalatable foods are foods that have been engineered to have an extremely appealing taste and texture, often through the addition of high levels of sugar, fat, salt, and/or artificial flavorings. These foods are designed to be highly rewarding and pleasurable to eat, which can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain and create a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction. However, consuming hyperpalatable foods on a regular basis can lead to overeating, weight gain, and other health problems. Chips, chocolates, sweets, processed food, biscuits, cookies, baked goodies, dips/sauces, soups are some products that can made hyperpalatable.
2. Low-Fat or Fat-Free Products are Healthier: Fat isn’t always bad. Consuming “good fat” is necessary for a healthy life and weight loss. Studies show that low-fat yogurt may cause weight gain. When fat content is ripped from food, it usually makes it bland and tasteless. To appeal to the tastebuds of consumers, companies add stuff like heaps of sugar, refined carbs, salt, emulsifiers, and thickeners which add high amount of calories to the body. Such a tendency defeats the whole purpose where one is actually going “low fat” to lose weight. So, do not pick up every food product that is labeled “fat free” or low fat.” You should in fact consume recommended intake of healthy fats because they are needed for absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K.
3. Processed Foods are Healthy: Processed foods are often high in calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats, and may lack essential nutrients. There are many processed foods that get heavily marketed as healthy, but in reality, they may not actually be as healthy as they claim. Granola bars for example, are marketed as “low-fat” or “high-fiber,” but they can also be contain added sugar and high number of calories. Flavored yogurt too is marketed as rich in probiotics and high in protein, but many of them have high amount of sugar and also artificial flavour. So, do read the ingredient list before picking up any processed product to avoid sugar and keeping the calorie count in check.
4. All Calories are Equal: Calories are not created equal. Refined and processed/junk food have empty calories, unlike whole foods, fruits, and vegetables. Quality matters as much as quantity. Eating 500 calories of pizza is not equal to 500 calories of brown rice and veggies, which provide nutrients and aid in fat-burning. 500 calories of pizza, on the other hand, add empty calories without vitamins, protein, or fiber and lead to weight gain. The source of calories matters, and foods high in healthy fats and fiber can be more beneficial for weight loss than calorie-dense, nutrient-poor foods.
5. Low-Carb Diets are the only way to Lose Weight: Carbs have been vilified by some people because of the popular notion that they are responsible for weight gain. However, it’s wrong to stay away from every food that has carbs in it. Carbohydrates are a macronutrient that is essential for providing energy to the body. Carbs are found in many healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes that provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The issue arises when people consume too many processed and refined carbs like white bread, pasta, and sugary drinks that are high in calories and low in nutritional value. In fact, low-carb diets are not the only way to lose weight. Weight loss occurs when there is a calorie deficit, which means you burn more calories than you consume. While low-carb diets can be effective for weight loss for some people, it is not the only approach. A balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats can also lead to weight loss. It’s essential to find a diet plan that works for your individual needs and lifestyle, and you can find such diet plans on the Rati Beauty app, and lose up to 17 to 20 kgs in just 90 days!
Summing up, by being aware of these lies and choosing whole, nutrient-dense foods, you can make informed decisions and support a healthy lifestyle. All of these tactics can make consumers believe that a product is healthier than it actually is, which can lead to overconsumption and health problems.