The Wrong Eating Habits Can Hurt Your Brain, Not Just Your Waistline
A diet high in saturated fats and sugars can affect the parts of the brain that are important to memory. Diet-linked brain changes can also make people more likely to crave unhealthful food.
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You Can’t Tell When You’re Full
Stop counting calories – here’s further scientific evidence that the effects of a bad diet extend far beyond the number of calories consumed – it actually impairs your memory and makes it difficult to determine when you are full.
Sugar Makes You Store More Fat, And Crave More Sugar
There is already conclusive evidence that a diet high in sugar and refined carbs has an effect on metabolism and hunger. The result is you crave more sweet food, tend to overeat, and your body stores more fat (particularly deep belly fat) rather than burning it.
This metabolic effect stems from the fact that fructose (the chemical that makes sugar sweet) is metabolized in the liver and converted to deep belly fat.
A Bad Diet Also Changes Your Brain
Now there is new evidence that your diet can also change parts of your brain, making you crave more unhealthy food.
A study from The University of Cambridge revealed cognitive impairment in humans that had been demonstrated previously in rodents an American University study. The brains of rats who were fed a bad diet underwent changes that impaired their ability to tell when they were full.
A 2015 study in the Journal of Pediatrics found obese children performed more poorly on memory tasks that test that same brain region compared with kids who weren’t overweight.
So Stop Counting Calories and Chasing Them With Exercise
The average American diet gets 30% of its calories from added sugar and alcohol. It’s the composition of this diet that leads you into a vicious cycle of hunger and fat storage.
Now scientists are also discovering that a bad diet has longer term effects on your brain that worsen these cravings not just in the short term, but changes your brain for a long-term effect, and turns off your “i’m full” signals.
3 Steps to Change Right Now
- Replace your morning donut or sugary boxed cereal with whole grain oats & berries.
- Eat a palm-sized portion of protein and a fist-sized portion of veggies with every meal.
- Store healthy snacks like almonds and berries in clear baggies or bowls at eye-level. Move cookies and chips to opaque containers in the way-back.