You know the feeling: One salty crunch potato chips turns into 100, and suddenly you’re licking the cheese dust and wondering: What’s wrong with me?
Actually, it’s normal to feel like you can’t stop overeating certain things. Today’s hyperpalatable food is creating a modern-day food crisis—one that’s leaving us feeling sick, out of control, and constantly craving more.
Processed foods are scientifically engineered to be irresistible and easy to gobble up in large quantities. If you can’t stop, the chips are doing their job.
Processed foods are foods that have been modified from their original, whole-food form in order to change their flavor, texture, or shelf-life. Often, they’re altered so that they hit as many pleasure centers as possible—from our brains to our mouths to our bellies.
Processed foods are highly cravable, immediately gratifying, fun to eat, and easy to over-consume quickly (and often cheaply).
Processed foods will also look and feel different from their whole food counterparts, depending on the degree that they’re processed.