The Dope On Dopamine: Dr. Neal Barnard

Why junk food and booze can be replaced with music, friends and exercise -- without making you suffer.

When it comes to keeping a healthy diet, a lot of us have the best of intentions — only to be waylaid by the lure of cheese pizza, beer and items not on the clean-eating, dietician-approved list.

There’s a good reason for that, as Dr. Neal Barnard, explained live in-studio to the KVRR Morning Show’s Emily Welker. Turns out junk food stimulates the “feel-good” compound dopamine, the naturally occurring chemical in our brains we need to survive and flourish. When we seek out things like alcohol, junk food and related items, we’re actually trying to create more dopamine, he said.

Barnard said there are better ways to get your dopamine fix, including spending time socializing with folks you like, and engaging in exercise, and listening to music you love. He’s a musician himself, performing with the musical group Carbonworks.

You can catch Fargo native Barnard in person talking about his prescription for more dopamine and healthy lifestyle changes at the Fargo Theatre and see some recordings of his musical performances, as well as a show by the local music group the Auratones featuring Sanford Health’s Dr. Richard Bailly. The show’s in honor of the newly opened Prairie Roots Co-op in downtown Fargo.

have Neal Barnard, M.D., F.A.C.C.,

Music as Medicine Lecture at Fargo Theatre

Heart Beats, Drum Beats and Edible Beets

Wednesday, July 19: 7:30 p.m., Doors Open at 6:30 p.m.