Tag Archives: cookies

New clues in the brain link pain and food

It has long been known that there is an association between food and pain, as people with chronic pain often struggle with their weight. Researchers at the Del Monte Institute for Neuroscience may have found an explanation in a new study that suggests that circuitry in the brain responsible for motivation and pleasure is impacted when someone experiences pain. “These findings may reveal new physiological mechanisms linking chronic pain to a change in someone’s eating behavior,” said Paul Geha, M.D., lead author on the study published in PLOS ONE. “And this change can lead to the development of obesity.”

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Finding pleasure in food comes from how our brain responds to what we are eating. In this study researchers were looking at the brain’s response to sugar and fat. Using a gelatin dessert and pudding researchers altered the sugar, fat, and texture of the foods. They found that none of the patients experienced eating behavior changes with sugar, but they did with fat. Those with acute lower back pain who later recovered were most likely to lose pleasure in eating the pudding and show disrupted satiety signals – the communication from the digestive system to the brain – while those with acute lower back pain whose pain persisted at one year did not initially have the same change in their eating behavior. But chronic lower back pain patients did report that eventually foods high in fat and carbohydrates, like ice cream and cookies, became problematic for them over time and brain scans showed disrupted satiety signals.

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How to ruin the taste of a cookie with just 2 words

A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, but a chocolate chip cookie labeled “consumer complaint” won’t taste as good as the exact same product described as “new and improved,” a new study suggests.

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Researchers labeled identical saltine crackers and chocolate chip cookies as either “new and improved,” “factory typical” or “consumer complaint” for the study, and then asked participants to taste the food samples and judge each on likability, freshness and a range of other qualities.

The crackers and cookies labeled “consumer complaint” received significantly lower overall liking ratings than the samples labeled “new and improved.” This held true for both saltines – a neutral example – and the cookies, which the researchers considered an inherently positive food.

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One of Those Bad Food Days

Yesterday was one of those bad food days for me. Meetings all day at work meant no time for lunch which for me usually means eating junk food on the fly instead. Yesterday that junk included some chocolate-covered cherries I have in my office along with St. Patrick Day cookies and cupcakes.

Add them up and by 5:00 p.m. I’d had 1,000 calories of junk – empty, sugar calories. I had a traditional St. Pat’s corned beef and cabbage dinner, better but not the best. Then it was an hour on the exercise bike to try and sweat off some of the bad food.

St Patrick day cookies

Working full time and eating right is a challenge, no doubt. My wife takes her lunch from home to her office every day to eat healthy. I don’t like taking lunch, it reminds me too much of when I was starting out in life. So instead I seek out the healthiest restaurant food I can find, not an easy task. I usually end up with salads with little to no dressing. I‘ve also studied the calorie and nutrition information of everything on a variety of chain outlets’ menus and often deconstruct food I order to cut calories. More on that in future posts.

Between Tony’s posts on prepared foods like Jenny Craig that you can have at home and me analyzing places like McDonald’s and Subway which are likely to surround you at the office, you should soon have plenty of ammunition to help you make better food choices.

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