We all know that eating junk food makes us pack on the pounds, but did you know that snacking on unhealthy food can also affect your cravings? According to a new study featured on TIME.com, bingeing on too much junk food may make you less adventurous with your food choices.

Researchers tested their theory on two groups of rats. One was given low-fat meals, while the other was given a variety of snacks ranging from cookies to cake. After two weeks, both groups were given either a cherry or grape juice drink. The same drinks were offered a few hours later.

The second time around, the healthy chow rats ended up choosing the drink that they hadn't tried before, but the junk food rats simply chose to drink what they had already drunk earlier.

“Their ability to discriminate what they’d just eaten is impaired, and we think that might contribute to overconsumption…if you don’t remember what you just had, maybe you keep eating,” says study author Margaret Morris, professor at the University of New South Wales. Eating junk food apparently makes your brain respond to cues differently. You’re more likely to shun away from novel suggestions, choosing to go with what you’re used to instead.

Think you've been eating too much junk food lately? Try these healthy meals for a week!


(Photo by Jeffrey W via Flickr Creative Commons)

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