No Junk Food
in the Garden of Eden
by Ron Brown, author of The Body Fat Guide
"Ron Brown is a certified fitness trainer who doesn't have an inch of flab on his body. He'll tell you what you can do to become fit and trim too."
TALK TO AMERICA, Washington DC
WHETHER OR NOT
you are a religious person, most people would agree that Adam and Eve did not
have access to junk food when they resided in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 1:29
tells us that God gave the couple a raw vegetarian diet
of natural, unprocessed, unrefined foods. They lived blissfully on this diet in
Paradise until they violated God's order not to eat from the Tree of the
Knowledge of Good and Evil.
When they violated God's order, Adam and Eve were tossed out of the Garden of Eden, and they faced the struggle against the temptation of evil whose aim is to destroy life. Humankind has been struggling against those temptations ever since.
One such modern temptation is the effect of junk food in our diets. There were no ice-cream trees, donut bushes or soft-drink vines in the Garden of Eden. There was no refined sugar to hide the bitter taste of natural cocoa and form it into chocolate. The pleasure derived from the use of these modern substances comes at a cost to our health. In addition, these foods undermine our ability to control the amount of calories we ingest, and thus undermine our weight management. Returning to a Garden-of-Eden type of diet would make controlling our weight easier, but is it possible to be satisfied on such a diet with so much junk-food temptation around us?
Taste Bud Receptors and Pleasure Response
Turning from religion to physiology, scientists have demonstrated that when the pleasure response areas of the brain are electrically stimulated, a pleasurable sensation results. Normally, these areas are stimulated through our sensory nerves. These nerves are attached to receptors that interact with our environment. For example, taste buds are sensory nerve receptors that allow us to derive pleasure from food.
Although the pleasure response areas within our brain may remain responsive, there will be little or no pleasurable response if our sensory nerve receptors are not functioning properly. At first, junk food has a powerful stimulating effect on nerve receptors, which results in a pleasure response. However, this is usually followed by a rebound effect of fatigue within the receptor (known as the refractory period in physiology). It then takes a much more powerful stimulation with greater quantities of junk food to continue to elicit a receptor response. This leads to overeating and loss of weight control. I have coined the term Fatigued Taste-Bud Syndrome to describe this process.
In deciding how to feed ourselves, we are often faced with a choice between good and evil, much as Adam and Eve were when they were evicted from the Garden of Eden. It is interesting to note that, given a rested taste bud receptor with a greater potential for response (called action potentials in physiology), the pleasure response to the brain is just as great when eating a fresh sweet raw apple as it is when eating junk food. We just have to give our bodies time to allow the response or sensitivity of our receptors to return in order to convey that pleasure. This just happens to be about the amount of time between meals on a healthy balanced diet of natural foods.
Finally, turning from physiology to psychology, people often form a strong association between the thought of junk food and the pleasure they experience eating it. With practice, this learned response can be replaced with the association between the thought of Garden-of-Eden type of food and the pleasure experienced eating it.
Restoring taste bud sensitivity in order to experience more
pleasure and satisfaction are part of the Four Secrets of Weight Control you can
read about in The Body Fat Guide.