17 of the Most & Least Addictive Foods

Posted by Luisa de Luca on

Food Addiction Cheeseburger

20% of us suffer from food addiction. The number is higher still among the obese. Are you one of them? Why do we get addicted to a food? This is an addiction just like being a drug abuser. Those who suffer with food addiction are just as incapable of stopping their habit of eating that certain food. Some foods are much more likely to cause addiction than others. Researchers from the University of Michigan studied addictive eating habits of 518 participants. The Yale Food Addiction Scale (YFAS) was used, the most commonly used tool to assess food addiction. Each participant were given a list of 35 processed and unprocessed food. They were instructed to rate each food on the list by how likely they were to experience problems with each one. They used a scale of 1 to 7. Below, you’ll see the results about which foods were the most and least addictive.

17 of the Most Addictive Foods

The number following each food is the average score given in the study mentioned above, on a scale from 1 (not at all addictive) to 7 (extremely addictive).

1. Pizza (4.01)
2. Chocolate (3.73)
3. Chips (3.73)
4. Cookies (3.71)
5. Ice cream (3.68)
6. French fries (3.60)
7. Cheeseburgers (3.51)
8. Soda(not diet) (3.29)
9. Cake (3.26)
10. Cheese(3.22)
11. Bacon(3.03)
12. Fried chicken (2.97)
13. Rolls (plain) (2.73)
14. Popcorn (buttered) (2.64)
15. Breakfast cereal(2.59)
16. Gummy candy (2.57)
17. Steak (2.54)

Most of the foods rated as addictive were processed foods. These foods were usually high in sugar, fat or both.

17 of the Least Addictive Foods

Fall Apples The least addictive foods were almost all whole, single ingredient foods.

1. Cucumbers (1.53)
2. Carrots (1.60)
3. Beans (no sauce) (1.63)
4. Apples (1.66)
5. Brown rice (1.74)
6. Broccoli (1.74)
7. Bananas (1.77)
8. Salmon (1.84)
9. Corn (no butter or salt) (1.87)
10. Strawberries(1.88)
11. Granola bar (1.93)
12. Water (1.94)
13. Crackers (plain) (2.07)
14. Pretzels (2.13)
15. Chicken breast (2.16)
16. Eggs(2.18)
17. Nuts (2.47)

It’s easy to understand why we crave some foods. We all have our favorite weaknesses. Those foods that we commonly get ‘addicted’ to are processed foods. They are notoriously loaded with fats and/or sugars. It goes without saying that these delightful foods are also high in calories and cause major blood sugar imbalances. These are known factors that cause food cravings. As we are enjoying one of our delicious favorite foods, the reward center in our brain starts doing the happy dance. The brain starts secreting dopamine which causes feelings of happiness or even ecstasy. Who doesn’t want to feel happy? It’s a vicious cycle that can quickly become an addiction. Healthy eating requires a diet of mostly whole, single ingredient foods. These foods also release those ‘I feel good’ chemicals, but in a proper amount. Don’t let your food choices control you. Learn to be the one in control of your food.

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