You may not realize this, but the American restaurant industry has perfected the science of making you fat.
Through research and scientific examination, we now know that certain foods trigger the pleasure center or the rewards center in our brains. Foods high in sugar cause a reaction in our brains that drives us to seek out more of that food and eat more than we need to eat of that food. Take that high-sugar food and add fat—you get a stronger reaction; take that high-sugar, high-fat food and add salt—you get the strongest reaction.
The restaurant industry employs scientists and researchers to help their chefs create food that is highly palatable (longtime readers will recognize this phrase right away). These highly palatable foods are engineered to make you strongly desire them and overeat them. Restaurants layer salt on fat on sugar and then sit back as you dish out your money to them.
For example, fast food French fries. At the processing plant, they slice up potatoes (a carbohydrate that your body immediately processes into sugar) and fry them in salted vegetable oil (fat with added salt). They are also sprayed with a sugar solution to help them brown (more sugar). The French fries are then flash frozen and sent to the restaurant. At the restaurant, the frozen fries are tossed again into frying oil and then salted before they’re served (more fat and salt). What’s a French fry? It’s sugar layered with fat and salt, more sugar, and more fat and salt.
No wonder our brains seek out these foods exactly like an addiction.
I’ll be talking more in the next week or so about our reward centers. Our long term success depends upon understanding how our brains work and creating a plan on how to deal with our addictions.