Tag Archives for " ALCOHOL "

Alcohol Fools The Brain Into Thinking It Is Releasing Chemicals That Calm Us Down

After a busy day at work, many of us want to unwind with a glass of wine.Now scientists have found that reaching for the bottle is part of the body’s natural response to stress.Increased stress levels alter the brain’s chemical make-up by changing what it thinks it needs to survive.Signals in the brain released by stress – designed to protect and calm our bodies – are similar to those given out after using addictive substances such as alcohol, caffeine and drugs.The brain is therefore tricked into thinking the alcohol is helping us, encouraging the drinker to come back for more.

This change in the brain’s reward centre could lead to excessive levels of drinking, scientists say.The research was conducted by a team from the University of Pennsylvania, who found rats exposed to stress voluntarily drank more alcohol compared to those not put under the same stresses.Professor Dr John Dani, chairman of Neuroscience in the Perelman School of Medicine, said: ‘The stressed rats drank significantly more than controls, and the increase was maintained for several weeks.

‘The stress response evolved to protect us, but addictive drugs use those mechanisms and trick our brains to keep us coming back for more.’Rats were exposed to an acute stress for one hour, and then 15 hours later, researchers measured the amount of sugar water laced with ethanol that the rodents drank.The team is now talking with other researchers to study a way to normalise the firing of neurons in the brain’s reward system to help control the over-consumption of alcohol.The study was published in the journal Neuron.

SOURCE…www.dailymail.co.uk

The Foods That Actually Make You HUNGRIER

Everyone expects to feel fuller after eating, but a nutritionist has revealed how some of our favourite foods could actually be making us hungrier.And some of our go-to ‘healthy’ snacks that we reach for in between meal times are just as bad for satiating our hunger as crisps and alcohol, it’s claimed.Registered nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert, whose client list includes Chelsea footballer Cesc Fabregas, revealed to FEMAIL the 10 worst foods we’re all eating that leave us with rumbling stomachs soon afterwards.

ACAI BOWLS AND FRUIT JUICES

Snacking on liquid-based items which contain very little fibre and protein is not a good idea and often leaves you feeling hungry within an hour. Despite the health benefits of superfoods and juices, the insulin spike results in hunger soon afterwards.Studies also suggest chewing food leaves us more satisfied, meaning there’s less chance of overeating at the next meal.TIP: Add some protein powder to your acai bowl or opt for a smoothie with fibre over a juice. Embrace the ‘bits’ and chunks in your food. I like Pure Blend Protein Powder. 

LOW-SUGAR AND LOW-CARB BARS 

These bars are labelled as a healthy, low-sugar, low-carb treat, and many people on Instagram seem to be addicted to microwaving them and enjoying them as if they’re a warm brownie. But many contain sucralose, an artificial sweetener made from sugar, in a multi-step chemical process where three hydrogen-oxygen groups are replaced with chlorine atoms.Research suggests sucralose raises blood sugar levels, making us hungry when they crash, which also contributes to weight gain.TIP: Go for a protein bar that contains natural sweeteners such as stevia or brown rice syrup. I like Pulsin Bars.

CRISPS 

These contain zero nutritional value and are packed with chemicals and lots of salt. Salt is known in high amounts to trigger hunger signals. TIP: Try Giving Tree Crisps, which are one of your five a day, as they are made from freeze-dried fruit and vegetables, which preserves nutrition. They’re also low in salt, sugar and all natural.

WASABI PEAS

What on earth could be wrong with some peas and spice I hear you say? Well, a lot actually. They are coated in sugar, salt and chemicals, all of which trigger hunger signals in the brain.Sugar has no ‘off switch,’ so it will always leave you wanTIP: Try Food Doctor Roasted Bean Mix, which is high in fibre – which in turn helps release hormones telling us we are full. It’s also low in sugar and rich in protein to keep you full.

CONVENIENCE SALADS

While there are lots of great, well-balanced salads out there, there are also lots of salads that will not fill you up and leave you craving more food.This is often owing to the lack of protein, fibre and high amounts of sugar in the dressings provided.The dressing also adds calories so you might as well make your own at home. TIP: Ditch the dressing and add olive oil or balsamic, and always opt for a salad with a lot of protein and vegetables over leaves.High-protein yogurt eaten in the afternoon may also help you eat approximately 100 fewer calories at dinner, compared to the other two options, so use yoghurt as a side over dressing.

RAW, VEGAN AND ‘HEALTHY’ CHOCOLATE

The health status of chocolate is not determined by the type of chocolate and just because it says raw, dairy free or low-sugar does not mean it’s going to keep hunger at bay. Eating a bar low in cocoa before a meal will only trigger you to need more food. Studies show opting for dark chocolate with a high cocoa percentage increases feeling of fullness owed to the stearic acid component which also helps slow digestion. TIP: Opt for a bar of any variety 75 per cent or more for a filling and rewarding treat.The bitterness of the darker chocolate is thought to help decrease appetite and diminish cravings for sweets.

GRANOLA BARS 

The sugar content alone, regardless of whether it’s honey, maple syrup or pure sucrose, is enough to send your hunger into overdrive. Glucose from carbohydrate is also a form of sugar and dried fruit to top it all off is a fast release of fructose sugars. Avoid these ‘healthy’ snack bars and go for something balanced with no extra sugars and added proteinTIP: If you want a flapjack, then make your own at home. I have a good recipe which is high in healthy fats, fibre and protein (in fact, I make these regularly for my client, the Chelsea footballer Cesc Fabregas).Or instead, opt for a Trek bar as they have added protein to keep you full.

REFINED PASTRIES 

Refined carbohydrates, which are in Danish pastries and croissants, are released quickly into the blood stream whereas wholegrain are released slowly which keep you full. TIP: If you MUST have that croissant have it with some nut butter to slow the release of glucose much more effectively than jam or chocolate.Try and get some oat cakes with hummus, which are just as cost effective and they last longer in your handbag.

SANDWICHES

They have long been a staple of UK lunches but the reality is that they are often a very un-balanced meal that leaves you hungry. White breads have little nutritional value and contain added sugar and salt.Combined with a barely healthy filling such as tuna, cheese or chicken and a small bit of salad, there isn’t enough quality nutrition in this meal, leaving you hungry and still needing

 TIP: Make your own with wholegrain, or buy an open sandwich or wholegrain sandwich. Check the fillings, too – how much chicken is actually in your sandwich? You may be better off buying a pack of chicken and adding a slice of bread back at home or work. I tend to ditch carbs as a snack and get lots of lean protein to keep me full mid-afternoon, but lots of places are now doing egg wraps or wholegrain wraps. And salmon and omega-3 also keeps you fuller, so opt for fish when possible.

ALCOHOL 

As you may have noticed, alcohol affects our brains to make us want to eat more, so be careful when you choose to have your drink. TIP: Opt for red wine, which is lower in alcohol sugars and rich in flavonoids. Red wine has been linked to heart health so there’s a plus there too. Ditch the beer and sugary cocktails, which also stimulate appetite and contribute to belly fat.

Conclusion:

In an ideal world you want to be eating ‘real foods’, items that don’t contain chemicals, added sugar, salt or preservatives. Our bodies need food for fuel and if we avoid processed food we are more likely to get more out of our food and forgo hunger for good. I tell clients to think of each time to eat as an opportunity to fuel.I aim for balanced meals, and protein at every meal is essential to keep you going, combined with a variety of good fats (nuts, seeds and oil), small portions of complex carbs and a variety of colour from fruit and vegetables.

SOURCE…www.dailymail.co.uk