by Dr. Craig A. Maxwell
Food planning, preparation, and consumption is a cultural and social activity enjoyed by everyone on earth. Every country and even every state has their own way of creating an enjoyable meal. The ultimate goal of eating is to eliminate hunger pangs and nourish your body. Is your food nourishing? If not, you will continue to crave what you need to survive.
Here is a list of 10 foods and additives that keep you on the constant hunger roller coaster:
1. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners are one of the top food ingredients that make you hungry. According to an article published by Neuroscience[1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2892765/], several large-scale studies have found a positive link between the use of artificial sweeteners and weight gain.
One such study, conducted by the American Cancer Society, revealed that among the 78,694 women studied, 7.1 percent of those who used artificial sweeteners regularly gained weight compared to non-users with an initial matched weight.
2. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) triggers your pancreas to release insulin, which makes you feel hungry. Furthermore, the savory flavor of MSG tricks your brain into believing you’re eating a meal high in nourishing protein. When your body does not receive what it was promised, your hunger level increases. MSG has also been shown to have a negative impact on your hypothalamus, which regulates leptin, the hormone that lets you know when you’ve had enough to eat.
Since MSG hides under more than a dozen different names, learn which foods to avoid by visiting www.MSGTruth.org.
3. Salty Snack Foods
Salty foods, especially certain types of snack chips, can be highly-addictive because they are designed to have a “pleasing mouth feel” and often contain other additives such as MSG and trans fats that trick your body into wanting more food. Furthermore, eating salty foods may satisfy a salt craving but afterward, you’ll crave sugar.
4. Children’s Cereal
Children’s cereal is virtually devoid of any nutritional value. It contains excessive quantities of sugar that spike insulin levels and send them crashing back down again, making you hungry an hour after eating it. The preservatives, additives, and food dyes do no favors for your health either.
Also, since your body produces a larger amount of cortisol in the morning to prepare for the day ahead, this further impedes your ability to properly metabolize the sugar, resulting in a fast crash and subsequent cravings.
5. Fruit Juice
Most store-bought fruit juices are very high in sugar and, with the exception of certain types of orange juice, don’t offer any pulp for fiber. This means the sugar goes through your body very rapidly, causing it to spike and then crash, leaving you hungry. If you like juice, consume no more than 4 ounces at a time with a protein-rich meal. Also, be sure it is organic, with natural sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.
6. White Bread
White bread is one of the unhealthiest foods you can consume. It is highly adulterated, with most of the fiber and nutrients removed from the grain during processing. What’s worse, most of the white bread you can find on your grocer’s shelf contains high fructose corn syrup, which packs on the pounds.
When you eat a lot of white bread, it causes an immediate blood sugar spike that makes you feel full for only a short period of time. You then experience a crash and feel hungrier than you did before you ate the bread.
A third reason white bread makes you hungry is the gluten content. If you are intolerant to it, it can also cause chronic inflammation in your intestines. This can result in hormonal imbalance and nutritional deficiencies that make you feel insatiably hungry and sick at the same time.
7. White Pasta
White pasta is just as bad for you as white bread. Like white bread, the whole grain has been removed from this pasta, which means it has virtually no nutritional value. When you eat enough white pasta, it interferes with insulin. This can result in erratic spikes and crashes that make you feel hungry all the time.
Have you ever been able to eat just one slice of pizza? Most people can’t. This is because fast-food pizza is often prepared with white flour, trans fat, salty toppings, and sugar-rich sauce that kicks up those cravings big-time. Pizza, like any product made from processed flour, spikes your blood sugar levels fast and drops them back down again. By now, you’re likely seeing a pattern in these foods. This sudden sugar spike and crash is the most common cause of non-stop hunger.
Pizza also has a naturally pleasing mouth feel, which makes you want to eat until you pop a button. Even though you practically feel full to the point of being sick after eating it, you’ll feel hungry just a couple of hours later.
9. Sushi Rolls
When prepared the right way, sushi can be healthy for you. The rolls, however, are the reason you’re so hungry after you’ve eaten them. They can contain up to 30 grams of carbohydrates, without the filling protein and fiber. No wonder you feel hungry an hour later!
10. Fast Food
It may be hard to imagine now but sugar, fat, and salt used to be hard to come by. These were precious commodities to be savored and enjoyed. Since consuming these foods (in moderation) increased our chances of survival, our brains are hard-wired to crave them.
Is it any wonder that fast foods are loaded with the things we crave? They often contain MSG as well.
For my patients, I recommend a nutrient-rich diet of organic produce, beans, seeds, grass-fed beef, poultry, wild-caught fish, eggs, and healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, and olive oil.
Eating foods that increase hunger is not only a waste of time and energy, but unhealthy. When you feed your body nourishing foods, you’ll be amazed at how stable both your appetite and your weight become.
Learn More About How Highly-Processed Foods Keep You Overweight.