This other day while I was watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix I could not help but to eat a snack. My snack of choice was mint Oreos. I told myself just two Oreos in an attempt to try and not be too overly unhealthy. After 30 minutes of watching the show, I realized I had eaten seven Oreos. I probably would have eaten more if I was not stopped by an empty row. I was immediately annoyed because all of the Oreos were gone and I would now have to add them to my shopping list and also because I told myself just two. I was generally interested as to why I had eaten so many Oreos when I was not even that hungry to begin with. I thought of a few possible things, did I eat so many because Gilmore Girls was distracting me or am I seriously addicted to Oreos? Yet again, I took to the internet to answer my question.
Picture from here.
I started off my investigation by searching “Are Oreos addicting” into Google. A multitude of articles popped up with some very startling headlines. One Time Magazine article in specific jumped out at me. The article was titled, Oreos May Be As Addictive As Cocaine. With a title making a claim as bizarre as that, I knew I had to read it. From the article I learned that a study on lab rats and Oreos had been conducted at Connecticut College. This specific study focused on the rat’s brain and how their neurons were activated with the exposure to Oreos.
The rats were released into a maze where Oreos were at one end and rice cakes were at the other end. Just like any normal person, or at least myself, I could easily assume where the rats would be headed. With no surprise at all, the rats gravitated towards the Oreo end of the maze. Another test was given to the rats, again they were placed in a maze. This time the maze had a saline( a salt solution) injection and a shot of morphine/cocaine at the opposite end. The rats scurried to the cocaine/morphine side of the maze. The data from both studies were analyzed and the researchers concluded that rats spent as much time near the Oreos as they did by the cocaine/morphine injection side.
The reasoning behind the strong attraction rats felt towards the Oreos goes well beyond the deliciousness of the black and white cookie. Foods high in sugar and fat (Oreos) and abusive drugs activate the addictive side of the brain at the same level. When the rats ate the Oreos, their pleasure center in their brain lit up as much as or even more than it would have if they were injected with cocaine. Furthermore this evidence from the study can support the conjecture that maladaptive eating habits linked to obesity can be similar to that of a person with a drug addiction. So for the sake of my blog, Oreos are addicting.
After finding out that Oreos are addicting, would I eat them again? Heck yes. I will continue to eat Oreos and products that contain Oreos because they are absolutely heavenly. However, there might be a slightly less addictive and healthier option for you to eat. Newman- O’s are a different type of the classic black and white cookie (Oreos). Newman O’s are wheat free, dairy free made with organic flour and organic sugar. My Mom likes to buy this brand of black and white cookies for our house and they are almost identical in taste to Oreos. If you were turned off from Oreos because they are highly addictive, or just tying to be healthier, give Newman- O’s a shot!
Picture from here.