Why do we like unhealthy food so much?

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Couldn’t our biological organisms just prefer the healthy food? It would give us larger chance of survival so genes preferring healthy food should be more popular.

In: Biology

20 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Our brains and their responses to foods aren’t really changed from the days of early hunter-gatherers. We need various amounts of fats, sugars, proteins etc to survive, and when we find a food that’s rich in one or more of those our brains respond positively and encourage us to find similar things again.

Unfortunately, unhealthy foods feature so much fat and sugar that it completely overdrives the response. Our brains don’t get the concept of “this is too much of this nutrient and it’s actually bad for us” because they also don’t get the concept of “we’re highly unlikely to be in a position where we don’t know where our next meal is coming from”.

So the “thinking” of our brain is that every meal is critical, and more nutrient = better. So you eat bacon or chocolate, and our brain goes “oh god yes that’s the stuff!” and floods you with dopamine. And then you try to get that same dopamine hit by eating more unhealthy foods.

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