Bring on the Pasta

Bring on the Pasta

A study from the psychology department at Tufts University showed that dieters who drastically reduced or eliminated carbohydrates from their meals performed more poorly on memory-based tasks than those who did not. Yet when carbohydrates were reintroduced in the dieters’ meals, cognition skills returned to normal. “This study demonstrates that the food you eat can have an immediate impact on cognitive behavior,” explains Holly A. Taylor, professor of psychology at Tufts and corresponding author of the study. “The popular low-carb [and] no-carb diets have the strongest potential for negative impact on thinking and cognition.” The researchers went on to explain that too few or no carbohydrates deprives the brain of essential fuel, forcing it to “run on empty,” so to speak. Glucose — carbohydrates that have been broken down to individual molecules — serves as the brain’s main fuel, and because the brain has no way of storing glucose, it must rely on a regular carbohydrate intake from foods.

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