Low Carb Diet is Bad For Thinking And Memory
Your approach towards food practically affects every aspect of your health, including the well-being of your brain. Certain evidence suggests that eating low-carb may have a neutral or even positive impact on your brain functions. While a well-designed low-carb plan must supply all the nutrients your brain requires for healthy functioning, you might have probably heard that absence of carbs in your diet reduces your brainpower. Is this true? Or is it just another myth awaiting to be busted? Let’s find out!
Carbohydrates and the brain
If you’ve ever been told to include sufficient carbohydrates in your diet prior to a game, race or a tough workout, you know carbs are key for boosting your energy levels.
- Reason 1:
Your body tends to turn them into glucose, that also directly fuels your brain. Infact, your brain cells can only use glucose for energy, this makes carbs tremendously necessary for powering brain function.
- Reason 2:
The second way in which carbs affect brain functionality is by signaling the brain to produce a hormone called serotonin, which is involved in mood regulation, appetite control and the sleep cycle. This may be one reason why carbs are referred to as “comfort food” and one might crave carb-rich foods when upset or stressed.
Can a low-carb diet reduce brain functionality?
Low-carb diets have proven to have a bad reputation for affecting your brain function. It makes sense because your brain requires carbs for energy. Thus, reducing your carb intake might adversely affect your brainpower. You may even experience fuzziness or “brain fog” if you’re not receiving enough carbs through your diet or have trouble concentrating due to fatigue from absence of carbs intake.
Researchers have studied this effect in low-carb dieters. A study conducted in the year 2009, assessed the effects of a weight-loss low-carb diet on brain function during the first three weeks of the diet. Scientists proved that low-carb diets have a worse impact on memory tests than dieters following a balanced diet as per the American Dietetic Association diet. This diet suggests a balance of carbs, protein and fat. Once the low-carb dieters began eating carbs, their memories were seen to return to normal.
This small scale study looked at only nine low-carb dieters. It doesn’t mean everyone who consumes a low-carb diet will see a reduction in brain functionality, but it does indicate that any “brain fog” you experience isn’t all just in your head.
Are there any pros of a low-carb diet for your brain?
Though the low-carb brain fog could be a real thing in some people, Low-carb diet could also benefit your brain function in the long run.
Following are the pros of a low carb diet:
- Low-carb diets are excellent as an aid to lose weight.
- The insulin resistance that happens in type-2 diabetes and prediabetes lowers your brain function, resulting in symptoms similar to Alzheimer’s. A low carb diet could also avoid type-2 diabetes which is good for the brain.
Low-carb foods for brain function
Even if you are following a low-carb diet, you should eat right.
Important power foods to eat right are listed below.
- Ensure that you add salmon, chia seeds, flaxseed and walnuts in the low-carb meal plans. These power foods provide omega-3 fatty acids, nutrients your brain requires to make myelin, an “insulator” that aids your nerves to communicate properly.
- Meats, leafy green veggies, nuts and beans contribute to the production of B-complex vitamins. These vitamins aid to make myelin as well as produce brain hormones, like serotonin.
- Protein addition in diet, supplies tryptophan, an amino acid needed for serotonin production.
- Berries and other such Low-carb fruits boosts brain health by increasing communication between the brain cells. Thus, these fruits keep the brain healthy as you age.