Can you Train Your Brain to Crave Healthy Food? Food Technology / Nutrition

Scientists have always suspected that food cravings may be impossible to reverse… until now! We don’t start out in life craving pizza and disliking broccoli. These food cravings develop over time in response to poor eating habits. However, there is now a small light at the end of a dark tunnel. A new small study suggests that by following a behavioral weight-loss program for six months, you can potentially reprogram your brain’s food cravings to crave healthy food. In this study, researchers tested the brain’s reward system in 13 overweight and obese men and women on the iDiet program, which emphasizes behavior change education and high-fiber, low-glycemic menu plans. MRI scans were used to monitor changes in the brain’s reward center associated with learning and addiction. After six months these areas of the brain showed increased reward and enjoyment of healthier, lower-calorie foods among individuals following the iDiet vs. the control group. This is the first scientific study of its kind to actually demonstrate the potential reprograming of the brain. Other studies have shown surgical procedures like gastric bypass can decrease how much people enjoy food; however surgeries such as gastric bypass are not satisfactory because they take food away rather than making healthy food more appealing. There is much more research to be done; however this just goes to show that it’s never too late to invest in good diet patterns!

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