Maybe it isn’t creeping age that is playing tricks with your memory. It could be the desserts and soft drinks that caused you to forget your neighbor’s first name.
High fructose corn syrup is an inexpensive sweetener made from corn. There has been an outcry for a long time from the health-conscious that it is harmful. Because it is in so many processed foods, you get a lot of it. If you drink sodas, you get a mega-dose. It is a factor in obesity, diabetes and fatty liver disease, among other ills. A new study done at UCLA shows that it also affects how your brain functions.
“Our findings illustrate that what you eat affects how you think,” said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a professor of integrative biology and physiology in the UCLA College of Letters and Science. “Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain’s ability to learn and remember information.”
The study on rats involved two groups fed standard rat chow. One group was fed high fructose corn syrup along with the chow. The other group was fed the same thing, but with added Omega-3 fatty acids. Both groups were trained to do mazes before the high fructose corn syrup was added to their diets.
The rats fed a diet of high fructose corn syrup did increasingly worse remembering what they had learned. Those with the omega-3 managed the mazes much faster than the fructose-only group.
Gomez-Pinilla recommends that you limit your intake of high fructose corn syrup and instead eat fruit and Greek yoghurt for dessert. And skip the sodas.
Since the sweetener is in so many processed foods, and because processed foods are so hard to avoid, it’s a good idea to add a high quality Omega-3 supplement to your diet.
This study also provides a good argument for banning candy and soft drink machines from schools. Why give our kids foods that will dumb them down?
So, if you need another reason to eat healthy, low glycemic foods, and to avoid the junk — do it for your brain.
Eating to live and living for Christ,
Susan Jordan Brown