Addicted to chips? There’s a scientific reason you can’t stop at just one! It has been found that chips and marijuana have the same addictive chemical.
Chips. Whether young or old, the vast majority of us love them and never really stop loving them. They are yummy, convenient, cheap, delicious in sandwiches, perfectly balanced with salad and fish and easy to eat in social situations. But are they really the reasons that we can never just have one?
Scientists have taken this to the test and found the fats in these snacks trigger a surprising biological mechanism that likely drives our gluttonous behavior. The culprit is natural marijuana-like chemicals in the body called endocannabinoids, researchers from University of California, Irvine found.
They discovered that when rats tasted something fatty, cells in their upper gut started producing endocannabinoids. Sugars and proteins, the researchers noted, did not have this effect.
The process starts on the tongue, where fats in food generate a signal that travels first to the brain and then through a nerve bundle called the vagus to the intestines.
There, the signal stimulates the production of endocannabinoids, which initiates a surge in cell signalling that prompts the wanton intake of fatty foods, lead researcher Daniele Piomelli said.
This most likely occurs by initiating the release of digestive chemicals linked to hunger and satiety that compel us to eat more.
Professor Piomelli said that from an evolutionary standpoint, there's a compelling need for animals to consume fats, which are scarce in nature but crucial for proper cell functioning.
In contemporary human society, however, fats are readily available, and the innate drive to eat fatty foods leads to obesity, diabetes and cancer.
The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
So, what are the impacts of eating chips exactly?
Chips are typically high in fat, which can raise the risk of being overweight. 15-20 chips contacts about 10 grams of fat. A recent study found that the link between potato chips and weight gain was stronger than the the link between weight gain from things such as processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages and unprocessed red meats. Being over weight raises the risk of diabetes, heart diseases and some forms of cancer.
They’re made from potatoes, and potatoes are high in vitamin C, so they must be good for us, yes? Um, no.
It really does depend on how they are cooked. Let’s take a look at the options here:
* Fast food fries.
Fast-food types have the lowest vitamin C content, because they are kept warm after cooking. These type of chips are high in fat and usually have the least amount of actual potatoes in them.
* Chip shop chips.
Many of the oils used for commercial cooking are hardened into a block, so they are high in hydrogenated oils and trans fats which could have a net effect on the ratio of bad-to-good cholesterol that's twice as bad as that caused by saturated fat
* Homemade oven baked.
Probably your best option, you are using less oil and more potato. If you leave the skin on, they are higher in fiber and B vitamins, which the body needs for energy
High blood pressure.
A high intake of sodium can cause an increase in blood pressure, which can lead to stroke heart failure, coronary heart disease and kidney disease.
Most chips are deep fried, a process that creates trans fats, the most dangerous type. Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Eating trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. It's also associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
So next time you would like to order fries with that, take a moment to think how many times you have said yes, and if it is worth risking your health for.
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