Why do we always have that irresistible urge to finish a packet of potato chips?

Verified on 03/03/2023 by Alexane Flament, Editor
Pourquoi avons-nous toujours cette envie irrésistible de finir un paquet de chips ?

As you probably know, it’s often very difficult to stop eating a packet of potato chips once you’ve started! The crunchy, tasty texture of a potato chip can be satisfying to eat!

Chips are also a rather comforting snack for many people! Why are we so weak in the face of that salty taste, those aromas of barbecue or Bolognese, mustard, paprika or even vinegar?

What explains this irresistible urge to eat them again and again? We take stock together!

Blame it on your brain!

 » Chips have a high hedonic value , » explains Muriel Clarisse, dietician and head of outpatient consultations at the Vaud University Hospital’s Endocrinology, Diabetology and Metabolism Department. Which explains why it makes us want to eat more and more! It’s all in good fun!

Blame it on our brains, which are addicted to rewards: these tasty chips activate neural circuits triggering the production of dopamine , which leads to an intense feeling of pleasure!

This will trigger a compulsion and an uncontrollable urge to eat chips!  » The search for pleasure can then become addictive, » explains the nutritionist.

Pleasurable nutrients that stimulate the senses

This food is rich in pleasure nutrients such as fat and salt. Fat and salt are gustatory elements that add flavor to food, triggering the desire to eat.

It’s thanks to these nutrients that manufacturers can turn a simple potato into an irresistible treat for our taste buds!

An insatiable hunger

Potato potato chips have a mediocre satiating effect despite a very high calorie count! This disrupts the satiety we should feel when we’ve eaten enough.

 » This is what allows us to eat without hunger and without end! We go beyond physiological hunger to satisfy hedonic hunger!

Rest assured, the difficulty of not finishing a pack of chips has nothing to do with a real addiction like drugs, tobacco or alcohol!

 » We speak of addiction when the act of eating becomes compulsive and uncontrollable, and when considerable efforts are made to satisfy this irrepressible need, » explains the nutritionist.

Tips for staying reasonable

The nutritionist advises against buying large quantities of potato chips at a time! Don’t stock up at home, just buy them occasionally when the craving strikes.

It’s best not to eat chips straight from the packet, but to arrange them in a bowl.