We’ve all been there. Even the most health-conscious among us will confess to at least once throwing caution to the wind for that one guilt-ridden moment of deplorable pleasure we call junk food. Unfortunately however, it turns out that a moment of indulgence in fried grease isn’t so easily rectified with a hefty dose of salad.
A team of Australian researchers have discovered that every glutinous mouthful of junk food consumed creates a lingering behavioural response that works against any future culinary redemption. The researchers, from The School of Medical Science at The University of New South Wales, found that healthy rats who were fed a diet high in sugar and fat for two weeks became unresponsive to the cues that normally ensured discerning food choices.
They became indifferent to novelty and no longer used the natural, inborn mechanism designed to prevent overeating and promote a balanced diet. This change even continued for some time after they had been returned to their normal, healthy diet.
So what does this mean for us? Well for one thing, the thought that the Friday night kebab we really shouldn’t be getting will soon be counterbalanced by all the goodness we’re going to consume this week may be little more than a pipe dream, albeit with the best intentions. Scientists now believe that that these findings help to explain why eating junk food so often leads to a weakened will, with self-control always but another cake away.
Bottom line – Don’t give in! Check out this week’s recipes for some healthy alternatives to those dastardly cravings.