That’s right, it isn’t just the calories in sugar that makes us put on weight.
Research has found that a diet high in sugar and fat actually makes it harder for the body to know when we’ve had enough to eat.
The study suggests that a Western diet high in saturated fat and refined sugar can interfere with the signals the gut sends to the brain to tell it when we’re full. It affects the hippocampus, which is a region in the brain responsible for memory, as well as for detecting feelings of fullness.
The study compared a group with a high-sugar and fat diet with a group who ate a healthier diet. Both groups were given a range of snacks to eat, and then some memory tests and lunch. They were also asked to rate their hunger levels before and after the meals.
It was found that participants who were on a high fat and sugar diet had worse memories of what they had eaten, and also ate more during the lunch period than those who were on a healthier diet. They also reported feeling less full than the other group, even though the two groups had consumed the same amount of snacks.
This means that people who are eating a Western diet may actually be eating more than they need, because their brains are less sensitive to signals from the gut. And when that diet is already high in fats and sugars, it just means that they will eat more of the unhealthy stuff.
However, the authors add that by switching to a healthier diet, it may be easier to listen to your body and eat more healthily.
These findings are relevant to everyone: the authors of the study point out that the participants were young, healthy adults. Even if you are living a healthy lifestyle, what you eat can still affect your brain. That’s why it’s important to look after your body (and your brain) whatever point you are in your life!
Via The Conversation