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New Study Shows How Eating a Western Diet Impairs Brain Function and Leads to Overeating

Image Credit: Waking Times

By Elias Marat | The Mind Unleashed


Could it be that our Western-style diet laden with saturated fats, added sugars, and processed grains could actually impair our brain functions while weighing us down with a tendency to continuously over-indulge?

According to researchers, this is very much the case. Gluttonous diets in the West could transform otherwise healthy and slim young people into mildly scatter-brained overeaters.

The new study, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, is among the first studies looking into how the Western diet impairs memory and appetite control in humans.

The results of the research are shocking and show how high-fat, high-sugar diets caused volunteers to perform worse on memory tests while nursing a continuous craving for junk food even after they had finished a meal. In fact, the desire for junk food only grew after they had eaten the meal.

The research suggests that self-control in regards to food consumption is harder for those who cling to a Euro-American or Western diet, with the array of foods involved in the diet causing havoc for the hippocampus—the part of the brain which regulates memory and appetite control.


Richard Stevenson, study co-author and psychology professor Macquarie University in Sydney, told the Guardian:

“After a week on a Western-style diet, palatable food such as snacks and chocolate becomes more desirable when you are full.

This will make it harder to resist, leading you to eat more, which in turn generates more damage to the hippocampus and a vicious cycle of overeating.”

To investigate the Western diet’s impact on humans, researchers recruited 110 participants aged 20-23 who were generally lean and healthy and stuck to a good diet. The group was split into one control group that ate their normal diet for a week, while the other team was assigned a calorie-heavy western-style diet filled to the brim with fast food and Belgian waffles.

 

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