Why you crave junk food
If you’re having trouble slimming down because you can’t stop eating junk food, blame your brain. In a recently published study, researchers did MRI scans on the brains of 14 obese and normal-weight people whose blood sugar levels were reduced below normal. Study participants were shown pictures of high-calorie foods, such as French fries and brownies, and low-calorie snacks, such as salads and fresh fruit, before and after they became hungry. The results: Two areas of the brain associated with reward, the striatum and insula, lit up for the obese and normal-weight people when they saw pictures of junk food, which caused them to crave it when their blood sugar was low. But the scans also showed that the brains of normal-weight participants put the brakes on cravings when their blood sugar was normal. The obese adults’ brains showed less resistance to high-calorie foods such as potato chips whether they were hungry or not.
An Apple (Or Pear) A Day! People who ate a medium apple or pear each day (or an equivalent amount of other “white flesh” produce such as bananas, cauliflower, and mushrooms) were 52 percent less likely to have a stroke over 10 years than those who consumed less, a recent study found.