I always hesitate to write about nutrition because I am not a registered dietician, but I read an article in the March 2020 edition of the magazine “The Week,” that I just couldn’t resist sharing with you!
The article describes a new study that suggests that eating a Western diet for as little as a week can harm brain function and encourage you to overeat. Oh my goodness!
Previous research on animals has shown that junk food can affect the hippocampus, the brain region associated with memory and appetite control. To explore whether the same was true in humans, researchers recruited 110 volunteers, all in their early 20s and with a generally good diet. They told half the participants to keep eating their normal diet and put the other half on a Western diet high in saturated fat and added sugars – predominantly fast food and Belgium waffles. After seven days the subjects on the Western diet scored worse on memory tests and were more likely to want to eat unhealthy foods when full, reports The Guardian (U.K.).
The researchers speculate that the hippocampus weakens memories about food when you’re full, so looking at a chocolate bar won’t inundate you with recollections of how great candy tastes. But when the hippocampus is damaged, say co-author Richard Stevenson, from Macquarie University in Sydney, you get a flood of memories, so food is more appealing.”
More research still needs to be done on this fascinating topic, but in the meantime, it makes sense to cut down on our junk food and sugar intake as much as possible.