Let’s talk about carbs.

You know, the starchy, doughy, amazingness that seems to be everywhere. Whether it’s the greased up french fries from the boardwalk, the rich cheesecake from your favorite high end restaurant, or the French baguette from the grocery store, carbs are literally everywhere. We even have a “fast food” restaurant specifically designed to satisfy your craving for carbs (we’re looking at you, Panera).

There’s no denying carbs are delicious, but there’s just one little problem: we can’t seem to get enough. We are addicted to carbs.


Photo by Amanda Gray

Remember those days of middle school health class when we learned about glucose and molecules and all that other stuff? It wasn’t interesting then, but low and behold, it means something now.

Carbs in moderation are actually good for you; they are proven to be a main source of energy. It is known that carbs are broken down to become glucose, and glucose gives us energy. But the wrong kind of carbs, or carb overload, can be bad for our bodies. Enter what we like to call carb addiction.


Photo by Katherine Baker

Though carb addiction is proven, scientists have often disagreed on the reasoning behind the addiction. Some believe it is learned over time, most likely due to our parent’s eating habits. It’s what we know and what we’ve seen growing up, and therefore, it’s what we learn.

But other scientists strongly believe in the “mind-mood-food” connection.


Photo by Danny Schuleman

To understand the mind-mood-food connection, you need to understand a little bit of background information. Serotonin in the brain is often associated with relaxation. Often times, people with lower serotonin levels will become depressed or experience a lower mood than those with high levels.

Scientists believe that people with lower serotonin levels will seek out carbs than those with higher levels, in order to up their mood.

Basically, eating a loaf of bread will make you happy. So why wouldn’t you continue to eat it?

Another theory is that fast-burning carbs (like cookies, candy, and cake) are associated with not only pleasure centers in the brain, but also addictive centers. Because you are intaking the carbs so quickly, you are not only constantly happy, but also craving more and more. This kind of attitude can cause overeating, and ultimately weight gain. Apparently carbs really can make you do crazy things.


Photo by Hannah Lin

So, ultimately, it’s not you’re imagination: carbs really are addicting. Of course, this doesn’t mean eliminate carbs completely (obvs that’s impossible for most, myself included – can’t live without pasta). It just means control yourself.

Though your mind gets a little jumbled, remind yourself that you don’t need that second piece of bread. Instead, opt for low carb meals that will fill you up for the long run. Your body and mind will thank you.