Eating Behaviors and the Brain Part 13
Our brains love processed foods, but our bodies do not. These addictive and irresistible junk foods are not very nutritious. They contain far more calories than we need, and they do not contain the essential nutrients and fiber that keep us healthy. When we eat them, we do not feel full or satisfied. Instead, we often feel tired, bloated, have esophageal reflux, and feel achy after we eat them. Sometimes our skin itches, or we feel like we have brain fog.
However, after a while, our brain forgets about its natural stop signals in favor of getting more of that perceived pleasure from foods that impact our reward system. Our hedonic pleasure system starts taking over our normal homeostatic energy balancing system. Over time, if we eat a lot of these foods consistently, we will actually create inflammation and injury to the parts of our brain that help us regulate food intake and energy.
This can become permanent.
Now, it’s not just that our normal hormonal regulators are being disrupted. They’re literally being destroyed. As of right now, we don’t know exactly why this happens, or how it happens, but we know that it does happen. We’re observing it in the health of our industrialized nations. Taking in too much energy from foods seems to create damage to our brains – specifically our neurons or brain cells.
Over time, if we eat a lot of these foods consistently, we will actually create inflammation and injury to the parts of our brain that help us regulate food intake and energy.
This seems to be increased in the hypothalamus, the area that regulates your eating behaviors. Our body has a normal response to injury; it’s called inflammation. It helps us recover. However, chronic inflammation can make us sick. In fact, chronic inflammation is the source of many chronic diseases. These foods directly create inflammation, but worse, chronic brain inflammation can increase your risk of dementia and many other neurodegenerative conditions. Also, chronic inflammation of the hypothalamus can actually destroy the normal regulation of your body weight.
In addition, these foods affect the gut bacteria that are your friends. They allow the ones that create disease to grow and threaten the ones that help you digest foods and be healthy. There’s substantial evidence that suggests your gut microbiome impacts your weight, mood, and health. These processed foods are a wrecking ball to your gut microbiome.
Eventually, your brain becomes resistant to the leptin signals, just like your cells can become resistant to insulin, and then you can become obese and diabetic. It’s a bad situation, and one we should all want to avoid. I’m going to describe this in a little more detail in the next post.
The Doctor’s Conclusion
Again, I want to emphasize that we’re teaching you the truth so that you can be free. We’re not just teaching you what has happened, or what could happen. We’re teaching you about all the great possibilities that await you if you just make a few simple changes in your eating behavior.
These foods directly create inflammation, but worse, chronic brain inflammation can increase your risk of dementia and many other neurodegenerative conditions.
Ultimately, this is meant to be good news, even if some of these posts sound discouraging. Please don’t take them that way. I want you to know the truth so you can begin to choose your healthiest self.
Your body is amazing. It has so much resilience. When you begin to move in the direction of health, it will reward you. It’s amazing what can happen when you just take the smallest step forward. Our teaching is all about baby steps, one small step at a time. But you have to know the truth about what these foods are doing to you, so you can really choose according to your highest desire: to be healthy and to feel good.