The Wrong Eating Habits Can Hurt Your Brain, Not Just Your Waistline - Deepstash

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The Wrong Eating Habits Can Hurt Your Brain, Not Just Your Waistline

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/12/30/506433671/the-wrong-eating-habits-can-hurt-your-brain-not-just-your-waistline

npr.org

The Wrong Eating Habits Can Hurt Your Brain, Not Just Your Waistline
Being overweight can raise your blood pressure, cholesterol and risk for developing diabetes. It could be bad for your brain, too. A diet high in saturated fats and sugars, the so-called Western diet, actually affects the parts of the brain that are important to memory and make people more likely to crave the unhealthful food, says psychologist Terry Davidson, director of the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at American University in Washington, D.C.

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Being overweight affects the brain

A diet high in saturated fats and sugars affects your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. It also affects the parts of the brain that are important to memory.

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Memory problems

Obese people find it more difficult to pick apart spatial, item, and temporal memory, as well as the ability to integrate them.

If you're obese, you might be up to 20 percent more likely ...

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Changing eating habits

The diet of obese people degrades their memory and makes them more likely to overeat, a study revealed.

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Reward Response

For many people eating a little sugar stimulates a craving for more. Sugar can lead to intense feelings of hunger.

Sugar has addiction-like effects in the reward center of the brain, causing a loss of self-control, overeating and weight gain.

Sugar Addiction

Sweet foods can be more addictive than cocaine, one study found.

Over time, greater amounts of the substance are required to reach the same level of reward.

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Even a single occasion of increased glucose levels in the blood can harm your brain. It can impair your memory and attention.

High sugar consumption causes inflammation in the brain. But, it can be reversed by following a low-sugar, low-GI diet.

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The art of eating

The art of eating

... is a question of psychology as much as nutrition. We have to find a way to want to eat what’s good for us.

We make frequent attempts – more or less half-hearted – to change what we eat, but almost no effort to change how we feel about food: how well we deal with hunger, how strongly attached we are to sugar, our emotions on being served a small portion.

Food preferences are learned

All the foods that you regularly eat are ones that you learned to eat.  Everyone starts life drinking milk. After that, it’s all up for grabs. 

But in today’s food culture, many people seem to have acquired uncannily homogenous tastes: food companies push foods high in sugar, fat and salt, which means we are innately incapable of resisting them but that the more frequently we eat them, especially in childhood, the more they train us to expect all food to taste this way.

0.3% of young women are anorexic

... and another 1% are bulimic, with rising numbers of men joining them.

What statistics are not particularly effective at telling us is how many others – whether overweight or underweight – are in a perpetual state of anxiety about what they consume, living in fear of carbs or fat grams and unable to derive straightforward enjoyment from meals.

Our Brains are Upgradable

Our minds are not static, but dynamic. The Brain has the capability to modify itself, change its structure, and to alter its biochemistry, at any age.

We can renew, rewire, heal and adapt our brains.

Juggling

You can improve your grey matter by learning a new, complex skill like juggling.

The simple act of juggling has recently been linked with better brain function. A new study reveals that learning to juggle may cause certain areas of your brain to grow.

Learn Something New

Even if it is just for 10 minutes before going to bed, you should be learning new stuff every day, a new skill, a new word, a new kind of idea or philosophy. Expose your brain to new frontiers.