Почему нам хочется вредной пищи?

Почему нам хочется вредной пищи?

Все знают, что вредная еда — это зло. Мы понимаем, что плохое питание может вызвать проблемы с сердцем, высокое давление и множество других неприятностей со здоровьем. Должно быть, вы даже слышали, что фастфуд может стать причиной развития депрессии. Но если всё так плохо, почему периодически возникает непреодолимое желание съесть чего-нибудь вредного? Почему мы продолжаем хомячить чипсы, бигмаки, пережаренные бедрышки, пончики и тонны непонятно чем ароматизированного мороженого?

Откуда возникает желание съесть чего-нибудь вредного?

Стивен Витерли (Steven Witherly) — известный специалист в области еды — последние 20 лет занимается изучением того, что делает те или иные продукты более притягательными и вкусными. Проведенные им исследования доказывают: когда мы едим вкусную пищу, есть два фактора, доставляющих нам удовольствие.

Первое — само ощущение от употребления пищи. То, какая она на вкус (соленая, сладкая, кислая), какой у неё аромат и текстура. Эти «оральные осязания» могут играть очень важную роль. Продовольственные компании тратят миллионы, чтобы найти такой вкус картофельных чипсов, от которого у вас будет просто сносить крышу.

Их ученые бьются над тем, чтобы найти оптимальное количество газовых пузыриков в банке со сладкой шипучкой. Все эти факторы в целом создают именно то ощущение, которое ваш мозг ассоциирует с определенной едой или питьём.

Второе — фактическое количество питательных веществ, содержащихся в продукте: сколько в нём содержится белков, жиров, углеводов. В случае с фастфудом и другими разновидностями вредной пищи, производители ищут идеальное сочетание соли, сахара и жиров, которое бы будоражило наш мозг и стимулировало нас возвращаться к этому продукту снова и снова.

Как нам прививают страсть к вредной еде?

Ученые и производители продуктов питания используют целый ряд уловок, чтобы сделать пищу более привлекательной.

1. Динамическая контрастность

У еды с динамической контрастностью — съедобная хрустящая оболочка или корочка, под которой таится что-то нежное, кремообразное, с очень насыщенным вкусом. По этому принципу производится множество всеми любимых, но не очень полезных продуктов: карамелизированное или покрытое шоколадом мороженое, кусок пиццы, шоколадный батончик, — мозг воспринимает игру «хрустящая корочка VS мягкая начинка», как что-то увлекательное и оригинальное.

2. Повышение слюноотделения

Слюноотделение является неотъемлемой частью приёма пищи. А чем больше еда провоцирует слюноотделение, тем дольше она будет находиться во рту и лучше покрыть ваши вкусовые рецепторы. Например, сливочное масло, шоколад, мороженое, майонез — повышают слюноотделение, которое помогает покрыть больше вкусовых рецепторов, а значит лучше распробовать насыщенный вкус продукта. Это одна из причин, почему многим нравится пища, сдобренная соусами или глазурью. Продукты, стимулирующие слюноотделение, отбивают своеобразную чечетку в вашем мозгу. Поэтому нам кажется, что они вкуснее, чем те, которые не политы соусами или не покрыты глазурью.

3. Вредная еда «тает во рту» и кажется некалорийной

Продукты, которые съедаются быстро и буквально «тают во рту», заставляют вас думать, что вы съедаете очень мало (хотя на самом деле много). Другими словами, такая пища как бы «говорит» вашему мозгу: «ты не наелся», — хотя уже было съедено много калорий. В результате: вы переедаете.

Тот же Стивен Витерли вот так объясняет «исчезающую калорийность» вредной еды: чипсы — один из самых гениально созданных продуктов на планете, доставляющих истинное удовольствие. Если что-то быстро тает у вас во рту, ваш мозг думает, что никаких калорий в продукте нет, и можно продолжать есть его хоть целую вечность.

4. Вкусовая чувствительность

Мозг любит разнообразие. Когда дело касается еды, если вы чувствуете одинаковый вкус снова и снова, то со временем вы будете получать меньше удовольствия от этой еды. Другими словами, чувствительность этого специфического вкусового датчика уменьшается со временем. Для этого достаточно нескольких минут.

Однако вредная еда умеет обманывать датчик вкусовой чувствительности. Такие продукты насыщены вкусом как раз настолько, чтобы ваш мозг не устал от их употребления. При этом вредная пища ловко балансирует на грани и не оказывает излишней стимуляции. Поэтому от её потребления вкусовая чувствительность не притупляется.

5. Калорийность

Вредная еда, в частности фастфуд, созданы так, чтобы убедить ваш мозг в том, что вы не наедаетесь, а всего лишь перекусываете. Вкусовые рецепторы во рту и желудке отправляют в мозг информацию о том, сколько белков, жиров и углеводов содержится в определенном продукте, а также насколько он питателен для вас. В случае с вредной пищей мозг как бы говорит: «Да, это даст нам немного энергии, но не столько, чтобы ощутить себя сытым». Поначалу возникает непреодолимое желание съесть эту притягательную гадость, но, чтобы до отвала наесться ей, должно пройти какое-то время.

6. Воспоминания о прошлом вкусовом опыте

Тут-то психобиология далеко не полезных продуктов конкретно направлена на работу против нас. Когда вы едите что-то вредное, но вкусное (например, чипсы), ваш мозг запоминает это чувство. Всякий раз, когда вы увидите этот продукт в следующий раз, почувствуете его запах или даже просто что-то прочитаете о нём, ваш мозг начнёт вспоминать все ощущения, которые вы испытали, когда ели его. Эти воспоминания могут вызвать физические реакции, такие как слюноотделение, повышение аппетита, — то, что вы чувствуете, когда думаете о своих любимых продуктах или блюдах.

Как сломать привычку есть вредную еду?

Сразу хорошая новость! Исследования показывают, что чем меньше нездоровой пищи вы едите, тем меньше вы её хотите. После того, как вы начнёте питаться правильно, постепенно вы заметите, что желаете мороженку, чипсы, сухарики или какой-нибудь фиолетово-зелёный мармелад всё меньше и меньше. Но должно пройти некоторое время, чтобы вы перепрограммировались.

Вот 3 метода, которые помогут вам перейти в жизнь без вредной еды с минимальными потерями:

Продукты без упаковки и правило 5 ингредиентов

Лучшая стратегия: избегайте приобретения упакованных продуктов. Вместо этого отдавайте предпочтение цельным продуктам, которые вы можете ощутить в своих руках: фрукты, овощи, мясо, яйца и т.д. Конечно, не все продукты в упаковке вредны. Однако, следуя данной стратегии, вам удастся избежать покупки большого числа вредной пищи.

Также следуйте правилу 5 ингредиентов при покупке товаров в магазине. Если что-то имеет более 5 ингредиентов в своём составе, не покупайте его. Избегайте таких продуктов и старайтесь выбирать естественные и органические.

Ешьте разнообразные продукты

Как уже было упомянуто выше, мозг жаждет новизны. Вы можете варьировать свой рацион так, чтобы продукты не надоедали. Для этого достаточно добавить к своим блюдам новых специй и приправ. Тогда еда заиграет новыми красками и ароматами, станет более аппетитной и желанной. Даже если обычную морковку окунуть в сливочный соус, она уже не будет казаться столь пресной и скучной.

Необязательно, здоровое питание — это что-то пресное или безвкусное. Миксуйте продукты, чтобы получить различные вкусовые комбинации и ощущения. Поверьте, это не сложно, как может показаться на первый взгляд.

Найдите альтернативные варианты борьбы со стрессом

Одна из распространенных причин, почему люди едят так много вредной пищи, — это попытка справиться со стрессом. Дело в том, что стресс стимулирует некоторые области мозга вырабатывать определенные химические вещества (в частности, опиаты и нейропептиды). Они могут вызвать что-то похожее на желание жирной или сладкой пищи. Другими словами, когда вы в стрессе, ваш мозг испытывает потребность в чем-нибудь жирном или сладком — так вы снова и снова употребляете вредную пищу.

Стрессовые ситуации присутствуют в жизни каждого. Однако способность справляться со стрессом по-другому может помочь преодолеть привычку употребления вредной еды.  Это может быть что угодно: как простые дыхательные техники, так и глубокая медитация, как физические упражнения, так и занятия искусством.

Согласитесь, что слова о том, что вы должны проявить силу воли, перестать есть этот мусор и с завтрашнего дня начать есть исключительно здоровую пищу, — не подействуют. Намного важнее понять науку вредной еды, психологию её создания и продвижения в массы.


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