The main components of cake, sugar, and flour, might have addictive potential. That could mean a situation where a cake is addictive!
Sugar comes in many forms. More and more evidence is emerging to show that the refined stuff that’s on our tables and in our cakes is bad for our health. A 2007 study revealed that most rats (94%) were more interested in sugar than they were in cocaine, this held true for the calorie free sweetener saccharin too. Even giving the rats more and more cocaine to the point of cocaine intoxication and addiction wasn’t enough to make the rats more interested in cocaine than sugar! The drive to consume sugar might be powerful stuff.
Flour has an approximate 10% gluten content (if we’re talking about wheat flour). Gluten is a protein that can be broken down into smaller proteins (exorphin peptides) which are capable of triggering delta opioid receptors in the brain. These receptors can directly control dopamine release and are thought to be part of the chemistry of drug addiction. If gluten can lead to dopamine release (a neurotransmitter involved in the control of reward and pleasure centre in the brain), there’s a high chance it could be addictive. In short – small parts of gluten can trigger happy chemical release that similar to drugs.
A combination effect?
One piece of cake doesn’t seem that bad, but if the cake is only a portion of our overall sugar and gluten consumption, alongside fizzy drinks, bread, chocolate bars and other tasty treats, every single one you eat could be making it harder to say no.
The takeaway: The main ingrediants in cake are similar to addictive drugs. It might be time to skip the cake.