What’s Your Bliss Point

Bliss Point - in economics - is the quantity of consumption beyond which any further increase in consumption becomes less satisfying. Bliss Point is associated with maximizing desires and wants in the absence of any cost or spending restraints - such that beyond some point where desires and wants have been satisfied, pleasure becomes less and less fulfilled and eventually becomes boring.

Bliss Point in the Food Industry

This same term - Bliss Point - is used by the processed food industry to engineer the formulations of three critical ingredients - salt, sugar and fat - to deliver just the right amount of palatability to achieve hedonistic pursuit of food, independent of hunger levels.

Think of the muchies and you have a good idea of what this means in the extreme. Or think of your daily reflexive grab for potato-chips, ice-cream, yogurt (yes yogurt, because current sugar-levels in these catchy-looking packages are as high or higher in sugar levels than some candy bars), cookies, crackers, pretzels and cheeses.

But Bliss Point as it's been applied in the world of processed food stuffs does not depend on unlimited resources to realize maximize enjoyment. Rather, the processed- and fast- food industries have made it cheaper for consumers to purchase laboratory-invented and assembly-line manufactured food-stuffs that are based on mixing salt, sugar and fat, than it is for consumers to purchase whole foods that have not been adulterated.

The engineered food-masterpieces are optimized to exploit palatability. And palatability - hedonistic-hunger - is shown to be directly related to opioid receptors in the brain, spine and gut: the same opioid receptors stimulated by illicit drugs.

Should salt, sugar and fat be banned as illicit drugs?

Some might make the case for it. Others argue that imposing this stiff a burden on these ingredients and industries is overreach: no one is forcing people to purchase junk-food and eat it after all. But when that's all that's available to you through corner convenient stores in many inner-cities, making healthier choices about what to eat may not even be an option.

The medical literature and exhaustive test results make clear that most people should reduce current levels of consumption of salt, sugar and fat in fast- and processed- foods.

Some common problem-foods to check nutrition labels include those with:

High salt: fast foods, cheese sauces, bread crumbs, baked beans, canned soups

High sugar: dates, candy, pie crust, raisins, milk shakes, yogurts

High fats: fast foods, pie-crusts, cheeses, hamburgers, snack foods

The connection between obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancers, and a number of other disease conditions from such dietary inputs are documented.

What's your Bliss Point?

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