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Scientists may have found a cure for junk food cravings

Photo: Foodies Feed Pin It
Photo: Foodies Feed

Imagine not wanting a piece of chocolate or pint of ice cream after dinner. Or never craving a slice of pizza—somehow transforming yourself into one of those people who only wants green juices, salad, and quinoa. According to a new study coming out of Imperial College London and the University of Glasgow, that day might not be too far off.

Although the study was small—only 20 people—researchers found interesting evidence that taking an inulin-propionate ester supplement (better known as IPE) could reduce cravings for high-calorie foods. It’s actually the second study suggesting this. In 2013, another study conducted by Imperial and Glasgow researchers came to the same conclusions.

In the latest study, researchers looked at MRI scans of participants, and found that it all comes down to the mind-gut connection and the “reward trigger” that goes off in the brain that eating bad-for-you food can bring.

“[IPE] can decrease activity in brain areas associated with food reward at the same time as reducing the amount of food they eat,” explains Gary Frost, a professor in Imperial’s department of medicine.

And IPE isn’t the only supplement with evidence for curbing cravings. Well+Good Wellness Council member Frank Lipman, MD, advises taking an L-glutamine supplement. But before you start shopping, you should know that dietary supplements aren’t FDA-approved, so it can be tricky to find one that’s truly safe. And, fortunately, there are always food swaps you can do so you can give into your cravings without feeling like you need to detox after. It’s certainly a more delicious way to live.

Speaking of food swaps, if it’s pasta you’re craving, we’ve got you covered. And did you know you can use cauliflower rice to make everything from pizza to calzones?