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Addiction to modern food creations
August 1, 2011
1:32 pm
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
August 1, 2011
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I am low-carb paleo for a few weeks now and I noticed that, after some weeks of only whole paleo foods (meat, fish, eggs, vegetables) I began to crave foods like nut puree, nut flour, chocolate (pure) and also sweet things like modern processed flour products which a high reward factor (cakes, cookies, etc.) due to it's high sugar and opioid content.

So I decided to give it a try and mixed nut flour, puree, chocolate and coconut milk together to resemble something I used to eat a lot, a cereal+milk breakfast.

While I am happy to be more satisfied with this high fat recipe, I wonder if it is healthy at all to try to mimick modern food creations.

I discovered that they give us some kind of high to endure the humiliation of the pressure modern society loads up on the individual. It is a mechanism to numb ones mind to flee from a live which often is not rewarding anymore. So we use food for reward, which is a downward spiral because high rewarding foods give much sedation, leaving us unable to stand up for resistance against tyranns, lies and injustice.

 

Large, hierarchically organised societies appeared, centred around villages and then cities. With the rise of civilisation and the state came socioeconomic classes, job specialisation, governments and armies.

(…)

To a very good approximation, every civilisation that came into being had cereal agriculture as its subsistence base, and wherever cereals were cultivated, civilisation appeared.

(…)

Groups led by Zioudrou (1979) and Brantl (1979) found opioid activity in wheat, maize and barley (exorphins), and bovine and human milk (casomorphin), as well as stimulatory activity in these proteins, and in oats, rye and soy.

(…)

Brostoff and Gamlin (1989:103) estimated that 50 per cent of intolerance patients crave the foods that cause them problems, and experience withdrawal symptoms when excluding those foods from their diet.

(…)

Withdrawal symptoms are similar to those associated with drug addictions (Radcliffe 1987:808).

(…)

The effects of exorphins are qualitatively the same as those produced by other opioid and / or dopaminergic drugs, that is, reward, motivation, reduction of anxiety, a sense of wellbeing, and perhaps even addiction.

(…)

Civilisation arose because reliable, on-demand availability of dietary opioids to individuals changed their behaviour, reducing aggression, and allowed them to become tolerant of sedentary life in crowded groups, to perform regular work, and to be more easily subjugated by rulers.

(Wedley & Martin)

 

So now you know why people can't live without there daily cakes, hot chocolates, breads rolls, cookies, cereals, etc.

As most people I grew up on those foods and was addicted to the bone.

What I see in the low-carb paleo community is the inability of most followers to just eat plain fresh, whole paleo foods like meat, fish, eggs, vegetables and some fruits without despair.

So people began to mimick neolithic, modern food creations to have more "diversity" in their diet, like low-carb cakes, cookies, breads, hot chocolates, pancakes. The list is endless.

It is interesting to see that regardless which whole foods diet people begin, (it's the same with raw foodists, whole plant diets, etc.), there is always the underlying desire to resemble modern foods, mix natural foods together so you can have a similar taste to your vanilla pudding, fruit cake, bread or other modern poisons.

But in reality it is not about diversity. In reality we can't cope with our lives when we are deprived of processed, mixed sugary, fatty foods that give us "reward, motivation, reduction of anxiety and a sense of wellbeing."

But I don't think it is just about opioids in cereals and milk. It is about every food item which contains some kind of carbohydrate mixed with fats and resembles what we eat through our childhood, which give us so much reward that we used food to endure traumatic situations our psyche wouldn't without a escape into addiction.

There is a variety of possible escapes today available, so everyone can chose from many options how he want to flee into a dream life, determined by reward without effort in the real world. Be it food, drugs, tv, games, sex, smoking, etc.

I am not yet sure how the physiologic (opioids in food, blood sugar highs and downs) and the psychologic (imprinting through childhood) aspect are combined together and which role they both play.

I think the physiologic comes first, which leads to mental addiction, because highly rewarding eating experiences are connected with emotional situations, imprinted in our brain as strong memories.

However, given the fact that paleo diets are usually free from gluten and milk products, especially processed foods, the reward factor is reduced.

 

There are two different possibilities:

1. Addicting foods are still aten, i.e. somebody is addicted to eggs, nuts, or uses "not really" paleo foods like coffee, sweeteners or chocolate (which, by the way, contains opioids, too)

2. The psychologic factor kicks in. Because the most addictive food groups are excluded, people try to resemble the foods which once were connected which such good feelings of reward, motivation and sense of wellbeing.

 

This is the only reason we see so many "low carb desserts" in the recipe community. Most people go crazy when they are confronted with the thought to never have such foods again. At least I do.

Often it seems to be a combination of both, but more concentrated on the latter.

This is something I experience at the moment, so I mimicked something like chocolate cereals with milk (almond butter, almond flour, chocolate powder, coconut milk) because I just went crazy after a few weeks whole foods low-carb without any of such foods, not even sugar.

And, surprise, surprise, I did indeed notice this rewarding feeling after eating it. It wasn't that strong and I was satiated earlier, because it was basically 80% fat, 10% protein and only 10% carbs.

Neverthless, I eat more then normally when I mimic this kind of foods.

Not only that, I also crave nuts, chocolate and fruits. I need to restric everything which contains some carbs, even vegetables. (Butter is also a problem, I think I react to the remaining opioids in it)

Could it be just carb/sugar cravings? Or indeed the attempt to mimick modern foods which shaped our personality, imprinted in our brain?

My theory is that by eating those foods, which means any processed/mixed replacements of junk food, we remain inside a prison, an invisible prison of our own unnatural desires, accrued out of negative traumatic experiences, fostered by repeated consumption and social accaptence. This prison is desired by our social leaders who need a numb and sedated society, full of people who value food so much that they don't care how cruel politics shapes our world, robbs the poor and coat our world with injustice and violence. Or as Wedley and Martin put it:

Civilisation arose because reliable, on-demand availability of dietary opioids to individuals changed their behaviour, reducing aggression, and allowed them to become tolerant of sedentary life in crowded groups, to perform regular work, and to be more easily subjugated by rulers.

There is a social reason for why it is so hard to quit those foods on an individual basis. If we do, we work against the forces who push civilization forward.

Eating whole, unprocessed paleo foods is an act of resistance against a sick, immature, opioid-suckling childish society and, if done without going back resembling those kiddie foods, breaks our prison apart and slowly, but steadily, helps us to break free from childhood trauma. This is the reason it is so hard: Suddenly there is only the harsh, cold world – and alone we have to fight for our rights, our integrity. Because without sedating foods we have to face our darkest memories like real men (and women) without crying like a child for there mother's milk and fleeing from reality and our problems, few can endure it. But this is a world where only people can thrive who faced their own demons, stopped being prey for psychopathic individuals and go on fight for themselves and their rights on a daily basis. Without hiding, without numbing.

 

 

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August 2, 2011
2:45 pm
First-Eater
Forum Posts: 2105
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February 22, 2010
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primordial49:

Wedley and Martin is indeed an excellent paper.  I think it hasn't been followed up on because people don't want to open Pandora's box by admitting that a crop which feeds over 20% of the world is an addictive drug.

And it's true that grain-heavy diets are sedating...not to mention that a population dependent on drugs to manage their diabetes is unlikely to revolt against anything.  There is a lot more to this subject: what you've mentioned so far is just one part of the puzzle.  Have you read Richard Manning's Against The Grain?

As far as the reward factor of "paleo desserts", my opinion is that if you crave them, you're not eating sufficiently rewarding real food.  It's easy to get stuck in a "steak and sauteed vegetables" rut, and you have an excellent point, which is that reward is not limited to food.  Life needs to have a certain amount of rewarding experiences in it.  So if your meals are boring, you'll be more and more tempted to compensate with desserts or simple cheating.

Fortunately I've found a few genuine paleo recipes that are easy to fix and extremely delicious...some of which I've already shared here.  The Chinese-ish version is my go-to these days...by switching around the vegetables I can eat it almost every day!

JS

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August 3, 2011
12:28 am
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 11
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August 1, 2011
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No, I didn't. I just wrote down my thoughts on this without much knowledge what actually is written about this topic in the scientific field besides the said paper. I look forward reading it.

Do you know more important sources?

 

If your meals are boring, you'll be only tempted to compensate if your life is boring, I think. That was my point, that you don't need such high rewarding food if you are happy with your life and the other way round, if you don't eat them anymore you can get a clear head and find out what you want to change in your life, get to know your fears and anxietiys you tried to bury. Of course, only if you avoid to just switch the drug and instead of rewarding food switch to other rewarding products of civilization.

We desensitize if we get stimulated be highly rewarding experience without effort behind it. Besides the last 100 years, all our evolution we didn't had the opportunites to watch tv and get the same reward we got 20.000 years ago when we killed a mammoth. All the modern distractions have hijacked our reward centre which didn't evolved to be such overstimulated. This leads to the point were normal activities, usually highly rewarding for our ancestors, become boring and thus the effort is to high to begin the acticitiy.

Thus, if we reset it, eat only whole paleo foods, don't use civilizations distractions for a time (tv, gaming, smoking, drugs, internet, shopping, etc.) we can sensitize our brain again and feel happieness with just having a walk or feel it is worth the effort to do some necessary work to archive a goal.

Even plain, whole, natural foods like meat, vegetables, eggs, fruits, nuts will be higly rewarding again if one is sensitized, but the point is, this reward doesn't desensitize the reward center, so we stay in balance.

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August 12, 2011
2:39 pm
First-Eater
Forum Posts: 2105
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February 22, 2010
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primordial49:

No, Wedley and Martin were never followed up on by anyone in academia AFAIK.  As I said, no one wants to open Pandora's box.  Manning's book isn't a science tome, but it makes strong arguments about the origins of agricultural civilization (e.g. sedentism preceded agriculture, not the other way around).

You're right about civilization delivering rewards without effort.  But the problem with watching TV is that it's like watching porn: you can see things you'd never see in reality, but they're fake.  Porn isn't sex no matter how stimulating it is.  And snack food is the same: it's highly palatable, but without the nutrition that's always accompanied palatability in evolutionary time.  See my article:

Why Snack Food Is Addictive: The Grand Unified Theory of Snack Appeal

Similarly, watching a ski movie isn't the same as skiing, even if they're doing stunts onscreen you'll never have the skill to do.  It's all fake reward, just like shopping, and it only lasts until you get up from the couch or the theater seat.  (There is an analogy to drugs here.)  Lasting reward only comes from accomplishment. 

JS

 

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August 13, 2011
5:33 am
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
August 1, 2011
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Well worded. Case closed. ;)

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August 15, 2011
10:06 pm
First-Eater
Forum Posts: 2105
Member Since:
February 22, 2010
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primordial49:

Absolutely.  

Note that I agree with your connection of processed grain-based foods to authority and acceptance of authority.  When we cannot satisfy our real desires and don't know why, "comfort food" is a poor substitute -- but it's better than none at all.

JS

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August 17, 2011
3:58 am
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 11
Member Since:
August 1, 2011
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Yeah, I think we are definitely in line with each other on that point.

I ordered Manning's Against the Grain and also Brown's Dead End Path: How Industrial Agriculture has Stolen our Future. The latter might be more focused on the sustainability aspect but I am looking forward to read both. Interesting topic!

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August 17, 2011
3:28 pm
Halifax, UK
Gnoll
Forum Posts: 365
Member Since:
June 5, 2011
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I didn't use to snack conventionally, nor eat conventional breakfasts ... but I did used to like a slice of sticky white bread with something on. Nowadays, I don't snack at all (thanks to J's 'Eat Like a Predator') but if I was tempted, I think a slice of thin beef rolled around a creamy cheese would really do it for me.

Yes, those sugars, carby, starchy snack foods are addictive.

We should look at why we want to snack, rather than the food we tend to go towards when we snack. Snack foods are there, ready and available - it's set up for us that way.

Not so much a snack, but if I skip a meal and just want something to tide me over ... I do like pate on crisp lettuce leaves.

Walking away from, and noticing a lessening desire for modern snack food is paleo.

Eating food which naturally fulfils us is paleo, and J's recent posts on satiety, satiations and so on (to the nth degree) are really interesting to read. Once over the addiction, why not snack every now and again? Getting back to a natural homeostasis where the food we ingest is valid and positive to our everyday living is exactly what paleo is about.

I'm lucky in a sense, having had a bad gastric reflux problem for years - this is my yardstick as to whether food is really good for me. I eat paleo and I don't have a problem; I remain "cured" - I eat off trail and I suffer.

Weird, but I've been craving oats recently ... maybe a thick porridge with a twist of sea salt and a shot of whisky is something I could have as a perverse treat some day.

Food addiction ... well, food addiction looked at from someone with a sense of what they are about, is perhaps well treated by discounting it ... and then re-introducing it ... and see how you feel. Almost certainly, you won't like it, and the cravings will be gone.

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