health

PSA: There's an actual scientific reason why you can't stop craving hot chips.

Constantly craving hot chips? We’ve got good news.

You’re not the only one – there’s actually science behind those pesky hot chip cravings.

A new study has revealed that our brains are programmed to love and crave foods that are high in both fats and carbohydrates – like a bowl of hot chips, a doughnut or a late-night kebab.

The study involved over 200 people being studied via brain scanners while being shown images of multiple snacks, including fatty snacks, sugary snacks and fat-carb combo snacks.

When shown images of combo snacks like hot chips, the brain’s reward system lit up, indicating that we value snacks like hot chips above all others.

And even when given money to choose their favourite snacks, test subjects were willing to spend more money to get fat-carb combo snacks.

hot chip craving
Your brain loves hot chips for a reason. Image: Getty.
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No matter how many calories the combo snacks had or even whether the participant liked the snacks or not – the brain craved it.

"Surprisingly, foods containing fats and carbohydrates appear to signal their potential caloric loads to the brain via distinct mechanisms. Our participants were very accurate at estimating calories from fat and very poor at estimating calories from carbohydrate. Our study shows that when both nutrients are combined, the brain seems to overestimate the energetic value of the food," Yale University researcher Dana Small said.

The fat-carb combination in hot chips 'hijacks' our brain, telling us to choose processed foods over a meal that is predominantly fatty or a meal that is predominantly filled with carbs.

This is because the brain has two separate systems for fatty food and carbohydrate-heavy food. This means that fat-carb combination foods over-stimulate the brains systems, which ultimately leads us to unconsciously crave foods like hot chips – even if you think you don't like them.

FINALLY.

An excuse to carry on eating hot chips, backed by science.

You're welcome.

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