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Dietary Addictions: When human beings (or other animals) eat highly con-

centrated processed foods, including oil, sugar and flour


products, they artificially stimulate dopamine secretion in
result in the artificial stimulation of the pleasure inducing
neurochemical dopamine.
The most effective way to lose weight and regain health
Why eating healthfully is so difficult the brain. Dopamine is the neurochemical most closely is to adopt a health promoting diet derived from abundant
associated with pleasure. The more highly concentrated quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables, and the variable
by Alan Goldhamer, D.C. and the food (calories per pound), the more dopamine is secret- addition of raw nuts and seeds, minimally processed
Jennifer Marano, D.C. ed by the brain, the better the food “tastes” and the more starchy vegetables, (including potatoes, yams, squashes,
effective the pleasure trap is. In addition, artificially con- etc.), whole grains (brown rice, millet, quinoa, but NOT
centrated foods are devoid of the whole food factors, flour products), and beans (such as lentils, peas, etc.). The
including fiber, that trigger the satiety mechanisms in the elimination or severe limitation of all animal products is
brain that are responsible for the feeling of fullness and the also recommended for health reasons not necessarily re-
regulation of total calorie intake. When satiation is not trig- lated to the pleasure trap.
gered normally, overeating becomes inevitable and obesi- This type of health promoting diet, in conjunction with
ty eventually follows. When they say, “betcha can’t just eat appropriate sleep and exercise, will result in the normal-

T
oday, most people result is obesity. one,” they’re not kidding! ization of weight. Most overweight people who adopt this
acknowledge that The medical man- Over two-thirds of adults in the United States are now eating plan will lose 1-2 pounds a week.
drugs, including agement of obesity overweight or obese. The epidemic of obesity in industri- Those individuals following a strictly vegan diet should
nicotine, alcohol, has a lower cure alized society is the result of the dietary pleasure trap and insure a reliable source of vitamin B12 and adequate expo-
caffeine and rate than the the overeating that it encourages. sure to sunshine to insure production of vitamin D.
cocaine, are addictive. It treatment of One reason it is so difficult for people to escape the Just as some alcoholics find that “just quit drinking” is
is common knowledge that most cancers dietary pleasure trap is the belief in the concept of mod- not always easy, many overweight people struggle estab-
repeated exposure to these and recidivism eration. A common belief is that everything in modera- lishing a health promoting diet. Addicts of all kinds often
tion is healthful. Although there are some people who can find benefit in taking a “time out” in a health promoting
substances can result in physi- exceeds 90
eat processed foods in moderation, if you are struggling environment that avoids the distractions and temptations
cal addiction and that the con- percent in most
with your weight, chances are YOU are not one of them. associated with modern life. In addition to a health pro-
sequences of addiction can be studies.
When it comes to addiction, moderation is NOT the moting environment, a period of medically supervised
devastating. Escaping the pleasure
The key to understand- answer. water-only fasting can also prove to be an effective adjunct.
trap of addiction can be extremely We do not advise alcoholics to “drink moderately.” We Fasting can clear the palate and help to “reset” the appesta-
ing food addiction is to
difficult. Even the most effective treat- do not advise alcoholics to put their alcohol in a smaller tic mechanisms (similar to rebooting your computer).
understand the nature of highly
ment programs fail miserably for the vast cup to reduce their over consumption, nor do we advise Many find fasting to be most effective AFTER a prolonged
processed foods. Natural foods contain car-
majority of addicts. For example, the most them to put their drink down between sips. We don’t sug- period of dietary compliance. The longer you sustain
bohydrates, protein and fat, but they also con-
effective treatment programs for alcoholism gest drinking just beer and wine and we don’t tell them to dietary excellence PRIOR to fasting, the more effective fast-
tain fiber and water. When foods are highly
involve a period of intensive in-patient care for count their ounces of intake. Above all else, most addicts ing tends to be in promoting a return to optimum health.
processed, the fiber and water is often
30 days, followed by outpatient support often dearly hold to the belief that they can continue to drink
removed or modified, as in the case of flour,
involving 90 visits in 90 days to a 12-step pro- moderately, but experience will soon prove this to be a fal-
where the grain is ground into a very fine pow- lacy. We do not advise alcoholics to drink moderately
gram. Of the highly motivated addicts who com-
der. This process makes the carbohydrate in because it DOES NOT WORK! Please visit www.healthpromoting.com for more information or
plete the program, over 70 percent fail. contact Drs. Goldhamer and Marano at (707) 586-5555.
the grain infinitely more available to the body. Fat people caught in the dietary pleasure trap are told
Unlike drugs, whose use is voluntary, food is Another technique in processing food is to that they just need some discipline, or they need to chew
essential for life. Some foods, particularly highly isolate and concentrate one component of their food more, put their fork down between each bite,
processed, stimulating foods, elicit responses food as is done in the production of oil or etc. They are told to eat in moderation. This strategy will Alan Goldhamer, D.C., is the founder
similar to addiction. Not all individuals respond sugar. When the desired component is separ- fail miserably for dietary addicts in the same way it fails of TrueNorth Health Center in Cali-
fornia. He is a member of the Board of
to the addictive nature of highly processed ated from the naturally occurring fiber, water, for drug addicts.
Directors and a Life Member of the
foods, and those who do may not respond in and other nutrients, it is much easier to overeat. The 100 percent effective system for treating alcoholism National Health Association. Dr. Gold-
exactly the same way. This effect is further enhanced because the involves the elimination of alcohol. The 100 percent effec- hamer is the author of the Health Pro-
tive system for treating dietary addiction and the result- moting Cookbook and co-author of The
The dietary pleasure trap is often hidden and artificially concentrated taste of the isolated Pleasure Trap. Jennifer Marano, D.C.,
ing obesity involves the elimination of the highly processed
extremely difficult to escape. The most common substance is very stimulating to the taste buds. is the co-founder of TrueNorth Health
foods that can fool the satiety systems of the brain and Center.

12 H E A LT H S C I E N C E ■ WINTER 2007 NATIONAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION NATIONAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION H E A LT H S C I E N C E ■ WINTER 2007 13