Refined Food Addiction

The Garden DietDo you live in service to your gut or to your higher intelligence?

Perhaps you can not serve two masters in this arena. Either your gut rules you and you live to do its bidding, or your mind/spirit rules you and you live to follow your higher calling.

Or, if you are an intelligent human being who knows better, yet you are still ruled by your stomach’s desires, then you may be an addict. You may be trying to stay in balance by keeping these two forces in constant battle, a sometimes exhausting lifestyle.

This interesting scientific hypothesis (see below) that a reader pointed me to suggests that refined foods may be addictive on the level of drugs.

What are refined foods? Any food that isn’t in its basic state; in other words any food that doesn’t grow on a tree or grow out of the ground. When you take these foods and refine them in any way, they become toxic, ie a drug.

The main thing done to these foods is heating and as we know cooking causes foods to become carcinogenic (ie cancer-causing). Carcinogens are only one of the hudreds of toxins formed by applying heat to fats, proteins and carbohydrates.

Is it any wonder then that so many human beings are walking around apparently slaves to their appetites despite their intelligence.

They may be addicts and they may not even know it. All of our complex eating disorders from anorexia and bulimia to overeating, binge eating disorder, compulsive overeating, emotional eating, food addictions, etc. may all simply be symptoms of Refined Food Addiction.

Maybe more people could have a chance at winning this battle if they only knew where the battlefield was. This hypothesis below may be a part of the roadmap!

Medical Hypotheses

Refined food addiction: A classic substance use disorder

bu J.R. Ifland, H.G. Preuss, M.T. Marcus, K.M. Rourke, W.C. Taylor, Burau, W.S. Jacobs, W. Kadish, G. Manso

s u m m a r y

Overeating in industrial societies is a significant problem, linked to an increasing incidence of overweight and obesity, and the resultant adverse health consequences. We advance the hypothesis that a possible explanation for overeating is that processed foods with high concentrations of sugar and other refined sweeteners, refined carbohydrates, fat, salt, and caffeine are addictive substances. Therefore, many people
lose control over their ability to regulate their consumption of such foods. The loss of control over these foods could account for the global epidemic of obesity and other metabolic disorders. We assert that overeating can be described as an addiction to refined foods that conforms to the DSM-IV criteria for substance use disorders. To examine the hypothesis, we relied on experience with self-identified refined foods addicts, as well as critical reading of the literature on obesity, eating behavior, and drug addiction. Reports by self-identified food addicts illustrate behaviors that conform to the 7 DSM-IV criteria for substance use disorders. The literature also supports use of the DSM-IV criteria to describe overeating as a substance use disorder. The observational and empirical data strengthen the hypothesis that certain refined food consumption behaviors meet the criteria for substance use disorders, not unlike tobacco and alcohol. This hypothesis could lead to a new diagnostic category, as well as therapeutic approaches to changing overeating behaviors.
(Complete Article)

Are You Addicted to Refined Foods?

“Have you found that you need to eat a lot more than you used to in order to get the feeling you want?”

“Have you ever had any withdrawal symptoms when you cut down or stopped overeating certain foods such as sweating or racing heart, hand shakes, trouble sleeping, trouble thinking, feeling depressed, feeling agitated, feeling anxious, feeling tired? Do you eat to alleviate any of these feelings?”

“Have you spent a lot of time eating, being groggy from eating, or tired/hung over from eating?”

“Have you had times when you would eat so often that you started to eat instead of working or spending time at hobbies or with family or friends?”

“Have you tried to cut down or stop overeating certain foods? Do you want to stop or cut down? Is this something you kept worrying about?”

These questions are use to determine substance addiction.

I Need Treatment!

Is there treatment for Refined Food Addiction?

I’ve started researching this and beyond Overeaters Anonymous and Eating Disorder Centers I haven’t found anything user-friendly that targets or recognizes this particular addiction.

Here are three ideas….

1. A religious or spiritual practice such as prayer, meditation or regularly attending a church can be a huge help in treating addiction. (I like to pray and watch Rev. Michael Beckwith’s sermons online at but attending church or my Urantia Study Group and connecting with other worshippers is sometimes important for me too).

2. EBT (Emotional Brain Training) is a brand of psychology with a simple and effective approach to addiction and trauma that I believe can be helpful. Email me if you’d like a free consultation with my therapist! (Also consistent with Byron Katie’s “The Work”.)

3. A raw vegan diet or whole foods diet, paleo diet, etc… there are many diets that avoid refined foods. By learning one or more of these you can have a system for becoming abstinent from the drugs (foods) that you may be addicted to.

In Joy!

This entry was posted in Addiction, binge eating, Compulsive Eating, Eating Disorders, Emotional Eating, Food Addiction, Food Addiction, Overeating and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Refined Food Addiction

  1. Karen says:

    Very good article, Jinjee. One that I’ll copy and give to my students as well as your website for support on their conversion to a healthier eating program.

    The PHood manufacturers make it their top priority to concoct additives (chemicals) that enhance our addictions. MSG is one of their heavy hitters. Proven to make test rats fat (WE are their true test rats!). Labeled under many different names, it is impossible for the consumer to know when they are eating it. That is simply one of many examples of what is being done to undermine our health.

    Raw food is the best way to avoid additives as long as you grow pesticide free or eat only organic.

    • Jinjee says:

      Prasana is that you? (If not, to explain, I have a friend in Berkeley who shares my articles / sites with her nutrition class / students – also a Karen) ….Thank so much anyway for the great insights!

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