This is Why You Crave Unhealthy Processed Food

Do you crave unhealthy processed food and wish you could stop eating it?

If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. For many of us, the problem starts early and continues throughout life. In this article, you’ll learn the reasons for craving junk food so that you can start breaking the cycle and promoting health.

When I was growing up, I had a craving for sweet sugary cereal. I was hooked on Cap’N Crunch. I couldn’t get enough of those little yellow squares of refined corn and oats coated with sugar. I regularly sat at the kitchen table gobbling down two or three bowls at a time. I always wanted more. The only time I ate one bowl was when the box was empty.

As it turns out, Cap’N Crunch was designed to trigger people to eat it again and again. When the cereal was introduced in 1963, flavorist Pam Low invented the cereal’s special coating, based on her grandmother’s recipe of brown sugar and butter served over rice. Ms. Low described the flavor coating as giving the cereal a special quality that she called “want-more-ishness”. That was exactly what the manufacturer was looking for. [Ref  1]

The problem with sugary cereals is they are highly processed foods. Researchers have shown that highly processed foods are linked to addictive eating habits. [Ref 2]

We crave and overeat processed foods because they generally contain large amounts of sugar, fat, or salt. We also crave them because they are hyper-concentrated.

Processed (hyper-concentrated) food lacks fiber so they are smaller than whole foods. This means that you get excessive calories and excessive flavor in every spoonful.  Therefore, you can easily consume a lot of calories without feeling satisfied or full. Excessively pleasurable flavor also makes them addictive. For all of these reasons, processed junk food increases the likelihood of overeating and weight gain.

The good news is that you can decide to avoid processed food and choose more fresh, whole nutritious foods instead. This gives you the opportunity to reset your taste buds and your brain, and overcome most food cravings.

Experiencing diabetes and want to take back control of your health? You may be a good fit for the step-by-step online course, Optimal Health Reset. Learn how to create eating and lifestyle habits to naturally stabilize your blood sugar and heal yourself. The next step is to book the Free Discovery Call to see if the course is right for you. It’s time to get the empowering information you need so that you get started with your healthier lifestyle.


Ref 1.  Meet the Mother of Cap’n Crunch. University of New Hampshire Online Magazine. Accessed June 19, 2019.
Ref 2. Highly processed foods linked to addictive eating. Michigan News University of Michigan website. Accessed June 19, 2019..
By |2019-06-24T02:28:35-05:00June 24th, 2019|General|2 Comments

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About the Author:

Carla Hightower, MD is an integrative health coach. She provides an online group health coaching program for diabetes. In this online course, she educates clients on how to improve the underlying diet and lifestyle factors causing insulin resistance, the hallmark of type 2 diabetes. Clients learn how to help the body heal itself and reduce the need for medication. Quality of life is greatly improved.


  1. Harry Wilkins June 24, 2019 at 11:32 am - Reply

    Great story. I was particularly struck by the comment as you described Ms. Low describing the flavor coating as giving the ceral a special qualiy that she called “want-more-ishness”. I have been there.

    • Carla Hightower, MD June 24, 2019 at 12:03 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing this. It’s amazing and explains the feeling of not getting enough. Now we know that’s part of the design. However, you have proven that you are able to take back control.

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