Woman snacking

The Science Behind Your Snack Attacks

When you get a snack attack, most probably the only science you’re thinking about is how you can most efficiently get a bag of chips into your stomach. However, when it comes to cravings, there really is a good amount of science behind them, and it doesn’t just concern the rate of food traveling to your tummy. The fact is, certain foods, especially those high in sugar, salt, and fat, trigger a release of dopamine, which means they are hitting the pleasure center in your brain at the same time they are hitting the hunger center in your belly and the reaction is an unfailing, “Give me more!” Here are some of the most addictive foods and how they work their magic.

Cheese
Besides being high in fat and cholesterol, cheeses also contain a high level of casomorphin, which binds to the feel-good receptors in the brain. According to Neal Barnard, MD, mice aren’t the only ones susceptible to the lure of a good cheddar. “Casmorphins attach to neurotransmitter in our brain and release dopamine, feel-good chemicals that often lead us to wanting more.” Apparently, Americans are getting cheesier as time goes on. The doctor notes that the average American consumes 30 pounds more cheese per year than he or she did 100 years ago.

Woman eating chips

Carbs
It’s the quick glucose release of carbohydrates like potato chips and pretzels which keep our hands going back to the bag to reach for another. Celina Jean, nutritionist, says, ” Simple carbohydrates are seen as an addictive because they cause a quick glucose release, and this quickly increases a person’s energy. The energy will quickly be used up, and the then you’ll be forced to eat more simple carbohydrates to keep your blood sugar raised.”

Sugary Drinks
Not only do sweet sodas, lemonades, and iced tea provide us with empty calories, a 12 ounce can of the stuff can contain up to 35 grams of sugar. Sodas also trigger dopamine release. That, along with the caffeine jolt can provide a quite a hit of energy. Ashvini Mashru, registered dietician warns, “Once you’re hooked on caffeine, you can suffer symptoms of withdrawal if you try to stop, including sluggishness, headaches, and emotional distress.

French fries

French Fries
Crisp, hot, and salty, french fries have all the classic ingredients of addictive food. Mashru tells us that the fat content in the fries sends signals to our gut and brain telling us to eat more. He says, “Those little potato sticks are also a comfort food. Therefore, every time you go through a line in a restaurant and see them on the menu, you may find the urge to order them as a side to your entree irresistible.”

Chocolate
Chocolate gives you kick because it binds to the same pleasure centers in your brain as drugs and alcohol. A study conducted by Drexel University found chocolate often provides a nice “mouth feel” which triggers the production of the feel-good hormone oxytocin. Dan Defigio, author of Beating Sugar Addiction for Dummies, explains, “Over time, our brains start looking for that dopamine hit, and every time we eat chocolate, it reinforces that wiring.”

What foods are you addicted to? Tell us your shocking stories of how your battles with food addictions. We want to know!

Fruit and cheese skewers

Resveralife Eat Well: Healthy Hors D'oeurves

During the holiday season, providing healthy food options isn’t typically something many of us focus on. We tend to want to provide or offer something to our guests that tastes fabulous without focusing on calorie content. What if there was a way to incorporate healthy with great taste? Resveralife brings you a few hors d’oeuvres that give you the best of both worlds. The best part is, your guests will love them and never be able to tell they are less fat and less calories as they don’t lack in flavor or taste.

Fruit and cheese skewers

Cheese and Fruit Bites

The accompaniment of fruit and cheese is a timeless classic. Serve with wine for the perfect touch. Super easy and quick to make, you can make a couple of trays in no time. With only 26 calories and 1 gram of fat, you simply cannot go wrong with this delicious concoction.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Lb. Red seedless grape
  • Reggiano Parmigiano cheese wedge
  • Festive foil tin cups (think baking cups)

Directions:

1. Halve all of the grapes.

2. Break cheese wedge into small chunks

3. Place two grape halves and a small chunk of cheese into the foil cups and place on a festive tray for serving.

Grapes are a healthy fruit which contain resveratrol, which contains anti-aging properties that benefit the skin. There are also as many vitamins and minerals which are easily absorbed as well as a high fiber content. Reggiano Parmigiano cheese is also low in fat and calories. This is a great finger food for your guests, and will disappear quickly.

Phyllo dough crab cups

Crabmeat Cups

Crab meat is a delicious and protein filled shellfish which is enjoyed by many people. Be sure to make sure none of your guests have any shellfish allergies before incorporating this into the menu. These delicate crab meat cups offer a delicious taste of something elegant with only 46 calories per cup.

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb jumbo lump crab meat
  • 1 container of phyllo dough shells
  • Lemon mayonnaise
  • 1 avocado
  • Watercress leaves for garnish

Directions:

  1. Divide the crab meat between all of the phyllo shells.
  2. Add ½ teaspoon of the lemon mayonnaise as a topper to the crabmeat in all shells.
  3. Place a small cube of avocado into each shell, and top with a small watercress leaf.

Simple and easy to make in three steps, these crabmeat cups are a surefire way to impress your guests and keep them talking.

Crostini with pea puree,radish,rocket and cheese

Pea Crostini

While not everyone is a fan of peas, this pea crostini is sure to change their minds. Delicious and hearty with only a few minimal ingredients, these are sure to fly off the serving trays – and the best part? They contain a minimal 35 calories and 3 grams of fat. You can double the recipe to feed more people.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ Cups Frozen Peas (thawed)
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 30 Crostini
  • Goat Cheese

Directions:

  1. Blend first 3 ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Spread 8 oz. of goat cheese on crostini, followed by a spoonful of the pea mixture. Top off with a small slice of watermelon or beets for a pop of flavor.

Peas, although small in size, pack a major punch in terms of protein, fiber, and micronutrients. They also contain polyphenols, which aid in the prevention of certain types of cancer. Extra virgin olive oil, and any olive oil for that matter, is good for moisturizing and hydrating the skin. This is a great accompaniment to your Hors D’oeurves spread.

 

Try one of these simple, healthy, and delicious recipes for your next gathering or party, and you’re sure to please.