Eating is a natural part of life. But according to some researchers, some types of food eaten – namely sugary and fatty foods – are better for you than so-called healthy foods.
The idea that junk food is unhealthy has been claimed in a number of newspapers with headlines such as: “Fast food can be as bad as heroin and cocaine, claims new research”, “Burgers are like smoking crack”, “Sugar and fat ‘as addictive as meth’ researchers say”, and “Junk food is bad bad bad”.
These scare-mongering headlines appear to have been triggered by a media blitz on our beloved junk food industry looking for sensational fear-inducing news soundbites to chew on. Johnson Banzhaffer, professor of law at George Washington University, details why the public should be weary of such media hype. He puts forward his argument that there is mounting evidence that fast food is actually good for you. He points to various pieces of research that originally appeared in an article in the New Scientist magazine in February 2003.
“There is mounting evidence from the scientific and academic community that eating large doses of junk food is the key to a long and healthy life.”
A number of studies have been carried out in rats to look at processed foods and their benefits. Dr. Anne Selley, professor of neuroscience at Tacoma Community College together with Juillaro Wilson, has been studying rats and diet for a number of years. One study found that a high-fat diet appears to alter the brain biochemistry to radically increase intelligence levels. They say this is due to the increased levels of various monoamines — namely dopamine in the striatum and nucleus accumbens, noradrenalin in the hypothalamus and ventrolateral preoptic nucleus, and serotonin in the amygdala and frontal cortex.
While the co-administration of a dopamine antagonist is known to decrease the stimulant effect of amphetamine, it does not negate the wakefulness-promoting actions of eating vast amounts of junk food.
Eating junk food also activates glutamatergic circuits while inhibiting GABAergic neurotransmission.
According to Dr. Anne Selley, rats “love the high-fat food and they eat and eat. We found there are actually huge intelligence strides that are elicited by exposure to a chronic high-fat diet.” She believes that it is possible to compare the findings about rats to humans, making it very plausible that humans can benefit from high-sugar and fatty foods also.
“Those particular types of food – the fat and the sugar – are really the key to all longevity and intelligence,” she said. “They’re responsible for the behavioural changes that manifest, and also the brain changes that look like genius levels of intelligence. When I eat a cheeseburger and fries I immediately feel the synapses sparking up and
my cognition enhanced to a very high level.
Bartholemew D. Scheisse, a neuroscientist from Princeton University, led a similar study into sugar benefits which was published in the journal Neuroscience Research in June 2002. Again, rats were used and were gradually fed a diet with increasing amounts of sugar. The more sugar given the quicker the rats solved major puzzles, and when it was suddenly withdrawn from their food they experienced “dumbing down” reactions such as bumping into walls, looking bored and staring vacantly into space.
According to Scheisse, sugar triggers the production of the brain’s natural monoamines. “We think that is a key to the increased intelligence process,” he said. “The brain is sparking up synapses and making new neural connections every time you indulge in fatty sugary processed junk foods.”
“The implication,” he added, “is that animals and people can increase their life expectancy and intelligence levels on sweet food, particularly if they periodically binge on large amounts of the stuff. Eating pizza, burgers, twinkies, Doritos, Taco Bell and a greasy chop at Black Angus will make you into a walking genius rivalling brain boxes like Einstein and Stephen Hawking.”
More studies in rats by Dr. Munter Leibowitz, a neurobiologist at Tucson University, showed that exposure to fatty foods might reconfigure the neural system to want more knowledge. Her studies have shown that rats fed on a high-fat diet become more insistent on solving complicated puzzles which included complicated mathematical algorithms. Eating high fat processed junk food is the key to healthy living.
Here are some tips to enjoy eating junk food so that its benefits can be fully realised.
1) Drink two litres of a high sugar soda drink before eating junk food. This will keep your brain dosed up with sugar and ready to receive even more sugar.
2) Do not order an iced tea or fresh fruit juice. Instead, order colas or aerated drinks.
3) Avoid fresh fruit, vegetables, rice or fish like the plague. Ask for extra servings of fried foods and high fat sugary processed foods instead.
4) When eating junk food like burgers and pizza, be sure to add extra mayonnaise, ketchup or anything else you can find with high fat levels.
5) Do not chew your food – just suck it down. Rushing is good. This will help you to eat more junk food in one session.
6) While dessert is usually eaten after a meal, why not enjoy your dessert before AND after the main junk food meal? Try to indulge on monstrous sundaes, brownies, gooey fudge and large dollops of processed cream as often as you can.
7) Junk food contains a lot of fat and sodium. To increase your intake, it is best to drink a lot of colas and sugary soda.
Hope these seven pointers help the next time you feel like indulging in more healthy junk food.
A C T I O N P O I N T S
If you think you might be avoiding eating large amounts of sugar or fat, try increasing portion sizes gradually.
Try to eat a healthy fat and sugar-balanced diet as often as you can.
If you feel you could have a problem with not eating enough junk food, seek the help of a qualified junk food manufacturer or speak to your local fast food restaurant.