A study conducted by Oregon State University suggests that junk food containing large quantities of fat and sugar have a negative effect on what they call “cognitive flexibility”. This is the minds ability to adapt or change according to different situations or circumstances.
High sugar and fat diet leads to drop in mental performance.
One of the professors at Oregon State University says “bacteria can release compounds that act as neurotransmitters, stimulate sensory nerves or the immune system, and affect a wide range of biological functions”.
An experiment was conducted on a group of laboratory mice to study the correlation between sugary\fatty food and cognitive response. The experiment was conducted with 3 groups of mice. Results showed that the mice group fed a diet high in sugar and fats experienced a drop in mental and physical performance in just four weeks.
Gut Bacteria Matters
One of the most prevalent results, and the likely cause for the cognitive decline was gut bacteria. You may have heard of the term “probiotic”. You may have likely seen it on your yogurt products. This term refers to the substances that stimulate growth of microorganisms especially those with beneficial properties.
When placed on food products, “probiotic” denotes the bacteria/microflora or “gut bacteria” in your gastrointestinal system. Probiotics are good for you! But it is important to be cautious as to where you are getting them. Many companies will use the “probiotic” label to peddle foods which are still unhealthy, due to sugar and high fat content, in an attempt to appear healthy, to health-buffs.
Probiotics help improve cognitive function
One of the first studies to link mind health and gut bacteria was conducted by researchers at the Gail and Gerald Oppenheimer Family of Neurobiology and Stress. This study consisted of 3 groups of women, each assigned a different dietary specification.
The first group was assigned yogurt loaded with supplemental probiotics, and were told to consume it daily for four weeks. The second group of women was given a substance similar to yogurt in taste and appearance but it lacked the probiotics. Finally, the third group was given nothing in specific to eat.
When the results had been concluded, they showed the non-probiotic group has suffered cognitively and emotionally, just as the mice did in the first experiment mentioned. This shows the link between poor gut health and mental ability.
It’s true. Studies suggest that fat and sugar do, in fact, have a detrimental effect on our cognitive, emotional, and physiological wellness. So, watch out for added sugar and high fat content in your food. Go be healthy, and eat a yogurt or other probiotic food!