Why is it sometimes we eat well and make better food choices and other times we struggle and eat the foods that take us on a wild blood sugar roller coaster ride?
The Bliss Point is a term used to refer to food blended with just the right amount of sweetness or saltiness, or richness, to make it delicious. It’s a perfect ratio of sugar, salt and fat. When we eat foods with a specific balance of fat and sugar, our brain responds by releasing dopamine, our brain remembers what we did to get that reward and we are wired to want to have that reward again. Dopamine is released in the brain when we have a pleasurable experience, and our brains want to repeat this reward experience.
Continuing to eat irresistible unhealthy foods overtime decreases our sensitivity so in order to get the same dopamine rush you have to indulge more & more. For some, the dopamine reward sets up a craving, which can create an addiction to less-than-healthy foods.
This addiction can become severe and if the amount of dopamine is too high, the brain responds to keep things balanced by removing dopamine receptors and with less receptors an individual will need to increase the amount of junk food they eat to reach the same level of dopamine release and pleasure.
It is important to understand that this ‘Bliss Point’ is not naturally created, and so it is the plight of food manufacturers to create foods and snacks that we crave with this perfect balance. However, it doesn’t meant eating these foods is an immediate cause for concern.
As with most things in life: Moderation is the key.
Understanding blood sugar balance can help mitigate some of the negative side effects, and often, you can find ways to replace some of the more processed foods while still treating yourself to a delicious meal. For example, this delicious lemon garlic shrimp with zucchini noodles from Eat Well is a great replacement for carb-heavy pastas with cream sauce.
By focusing on regularly eating natural whole foods, you can help to prevent junk food cravings. Clean eating and avoiding processed foods that rocket blood sugar levels will support a healthy weight and optimized energy levels.