Eating Fatty Foods Affects Concentration

In these difficult times, fatty foods may have been our friends. But new research shows that eating a meal high in saturated fat may hinder our ability to concentrate. This is especially bad news for people who work from home during the COVID-19 outbreak and whose diets are getting worse.

This study compared the performance of 51 women after a meal high in saturated fat with their performance after the same meal with sunflower oil, which is high in unsaturated fat.

Women high saturated fat Test performances after the meal containing a more healthy oil were much worse than the test performances after the meal made with a healthier oil. This signaled a connection between fatty foods and the brain.

Researchers have investigated whether leaky gut syndrome, which causes gut bacteria to enter the bloodstream, has an effect on concentration. People with this syndrome performed poorly in the attention test regardless of the content of the food they ate.

The loss of concentration after a single meal has opened up the horizons of the researchers!

A meal high in saturated fat may reduce our ability to focus.

“Much of the previous work that looked at the causal effect of diet has looked at the time,” said Annelise Madison, lead author of the study and a graduate of the Department of clinical psychology at Ohio University. And it was just a meal, it is quite remarkable that we saw a difference. ” said.

Madison also noted that although the meal made with sunflower oil was low in saturated fat, it still contained a lot of dietary fat. “Because both meals are high in fat and potentially problematic, the cognitive impact of a high saturated fat meal may be even greater compared to a lower fat meal.” said. The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Madison works in the lab of Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, professor of psychiatry and psychology and director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research in Ohio State. For this study, Madison performed a secondary analysis of data derived from Kiecolt-Glaser’s study to assess whether high-fat meals increase fatigue and anger among cancer survivors.

The women in the study completed a basic assessment test one morning in the lab that measured their attention. Continuous performance test The so-called tool is a measure of attention, concentration and reaction time based on 10 minutes of computer-based activities.

This test was followed by a fatty meal with a total of 60 grams of fat, including eggs, biscuits, turkey sausage and broth, including palmitic acid-based oil with high saturated fat or sunflower oil with low saturated fat.

Fatty acids may interact directly with the brain.

Eating Fatty Foods Affects Concentration

Both meals were 930 calories. And both meals mimicked the ingredients of a variety of fast-food meals, such as Burger King’s cheese double Whopper, McDonald’s Big Mac and medium potatoes.

Five hours later, the women took the continuous performance test again. After one to four weeks, they repeated these visits. And they ate the exact opposite of what they ate on the first visit.

The researchers also analyzed participants’ fasting blood samples to determine if they contained an anger and fatigue-inducing molecule, indicating the presence of endotoxemia (compounds that could be toxic), the toxin that escapes from the intestines and enters the bloodstream when the gut barrier is compromised. After eating the meals rich in saturated fat, all of the participating women were able to detect an average of 11 percent fewer target stimuli in attention assessment. Lack of concentration was also evident in women with leaky gut symptoms. Their reaction times were more erratic and they were less able to maintain their attention during the 10-minute test.

“In Women with high levels of endotoxemia, there was no difference between meals. They were performing poorly regardless of the type of fat they ate. ” said.

While the study did not determine what is happening in the brain, Madison said previous research has shown that foods high in saturated fat can increase inflammation in the body and possibly in the brain. In addition, fatty acids can cross the blood-brain barrier.

“Fatty acids may be interacting directly with the brain. What this study really shows is the strength of the intestinal disorder. ” said. This statistical analysis depressive symptoms and other potential effects on cognition, including participants’ average consumption of dietary saturated fat. The women in the study ate three standard meals. They fasted for 12 hours before each laboratory visit to reduce dietary variations that could affect the physiological responses of high-fat meals. Kiecolt-Glaser “These are the findings during a stressful pandemic consolation in fatty foods reveals that the concentration of those who find it may deteriorate more. ” says. “As we know, most of us will find high-saturated fat more appealing than Broccoli when more anxious,” he said.

“We know from other research that depression and anxiety can also affect concentration and attention. Upon this high-fat meal When we add, we can expect the effects to be even greater. ”


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