Appetite and satisfaction

For those people who think they may be addicted to food it is important to know that the most addictive foods are those high in carbohydrates especially refined sugar.

Some people will also find that foods containing grains are addictive for them. Addictive foods can be called “trigger foods” in that they trigger an overeating binge and a loss of control.

Trigger foods set off powerful chemical changes in the body such as:

  • High insulin levels
  • Unstable blood sugar levels
  • Low dopamine levels in the brain

These chemical changes increase hunger and reduce feelings of satisfaction; thus you need to eat much larger amounts of these high carbohydrate foods to feel satisfied and happy.

In some people these high carbohydrate trigger foods cause them to eat huge amounts, until they get to the point where they are unable to fit anymore food into their stomach, but still the chemical imbalances and the chemical hunger remain.

This is why it might be imperative for such carbohydrate addicted people to avoid refined sugars and all grains.

Conversely foods that contain mainly protein do not set off these addictive chemical changes in the body and people do not tend to overeat protein foods.

Your liver can turn protein into energy so that you will not get tired if you avoid sugar and grains.

Protein foods contain the important amino acids tryptophan and tyrosine, which the brain uses to make its happy chemicals (neurotransmitters). The brain chemical serotonin is made from the amino acid tryptophan and the brain chemical dopamine is made from the amino acid tyrosine. Dopamine is particularly important for our state of mind, as it is the brain chemical that makes us feel satisfied, rewarded and motivated.

Some food addicted people find that using a tyrosine supplement helps them to boost their brain’s dopamine level, which switches off their excessive hunger and cravings.

Tyrosine supplements can also exert a worthwhile anti-depressant effect. Tyrosine can be taken as a powder or tablets and can be taken with water, juice or cup of tea or coffee. It should not be taken at the same time as protein foods as this will reduce absorption of tyrosine into the brain.


Find out more in Dr Cabot's book, “Fatty Liver – you can reverse it”