Today’s evening post is about the most sophisticated organic operating system: the brain. We’ll open the door to how your brain responds to a diet system.
Poor diets lead to a host of medical issues: obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. But diet also influences the brain and can increase the risk for mental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers are uncovering the details of how the foods we consume affect our cravings, our moods, and even our memories.
However, when eating a favorite food, dopamine levels rise, creating that feeling of pleasure experienced by chocolate lovers everywhere. (A similar surge happens with addictive drugs). But eating too many treats leads to a decrease in the effects of dopamine — the brain tries to turn down the signal. Suddenly, it takes more chocolate cake (or cocaine) to feel the same rush.
Obesity and memory Interestingly, adult rats didn’t suffer the same consequences from sugar overload in Harrell’s studies. The developing teenage brain seems to be especially vulnerable to high sugar consumption. However, overall diet — particularly its effect on weight — continues to influence the brain into old age.
In addition, it was found that, in people in their sixties, those who were overweight or obese (those with the highest BMIs) had smaller hippocampi than people of healthy weights. In addition, over the course of eight years, everyone’s hippocampus shrank, but the overweight subjects experienced the biggest losses. The hippocampus normally shrinks with age, but it shrinks to a greater degree in dementia, which leads to memory problems. Other research in humans suggests that obese people score lower on memory tests, but losing weight through bariatric surgery can improve scores. Our brains are sculpted by what we eat. If it’s too much fat, too much sugar, or just too much, there may be permanent consequences for our brain function. Keeping our brains in shape is one more reason to clean up our diets.
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Please, try not to drop your jaw so hard when you see the picture of today’s dinner.
Low in carbs.
Here it is.
Low-Carb Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs
Enjoy the recipe here.