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Medicine Science

Fatty Foods Affect Memory and Exercise Performance 379

Posted by timothy
from the I-distinctly-remember-eating-4-egg-mcmuffins-today dept.
Death Metal writes "Eating fatty food appears to take an almost immediate toll on both short-term memory and exercise performance, according to new research on rats and people. Other studies have suggested that that long-term consumption of a high-fat diet is associated with weight gain, heart disease and declines in cognitive function. But the new research shows how indulging in fatty foods over the course of a few days can affect the brain and body long before the extra pounds show up."
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Fatty Foods Affect Memory and Exercise Performance

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  • by somersault (912633) on Monday August 17, 2009 @06:02AM (#29089583) Homepage Journal

    I've been eating fairly healthy/low fat food for a while, I definitely feel crappy after having certain kinds of food, like the last time I had fish and chips (deep fried fish and very thick cut fries, likewise deep fat fried).. incredibly greasy - I felt like shit for the rest of the evening. Likewise anything with lots of cheese like pizza just makes me feel kind of lethargic. Sure it's enjoyable at the time (though often with fatty foods I just don't find them as attractive as I used to), but a couple of hours later..

  • by CrashandDie (1114135) on Monday August 17, 2009 @06:31AM (#29089701)
    Low or no-carb diets are bad.

    Just get on your bike or lift dumbells. Killing your body by removing a required nutrient isn't a diet, it's stupid. Probably as much as vegans.

    Simple equation: energy in == energy consumed. If that is not the case, you're doing it wrong. You obviously have enough self-discipline to prevent yourself from eating things you decide, so why not have the self-discipline to do the same using a healthy diet and some exercise?
  • by romeanthem2 (1220126) on Monday August 17, 2009 @06:35AM (#29089729)
    Glad you are losing weight. My opinion on exercise depends upon how overweight you are, and what you plan on doing. The damage to your joints from running is massive if you are heavy, and so is not worth doing. Walking is generally fine for almost everyone, and will benefit your health. Strength training is great, so is joint mobility work. Be careful of intense exercise, it can greatly increase your appetite and then you go on a massive binge, negating the point of the exercise completely.
  • by Evil.Bonsai (1205202) on Monday August 17, 2009 @08:01AM (#29090045)
    I think you're confusing 'carbs' with 'grains' (as the title to your post might suggest); humans are quite able to process carbs quite easily. Every eat fruti? How about vegetables? Yeah, those are carbs. But they do take a while to break down, plus they contain fiber, which is also good for you body. Grains, on the other hand, are BAD carbs (I'm talking about processed grains here, not the stuff you'd pick off a wheat plant growing in a field; good luck trying to eat THAT.) They break down too quickly into sugar, which is quickly absorbed into the blood stream, thus causing high spikes in insulin which leads, eventually, to insulin resistance. Stay away from most grains, eat lots of fruit/vegetables and lean protein and add in some poly unsaturated fat (almonds, cashews, avocado, olive oil/olives) and you'll be on your way to a leaner, healthier you.
  • Ridiculous (Score:4, Informative)

    by Fished (574624) <amphigory AT gmail DOT com> on Monday August 17, 2009 @08:29AM (#29090173)

    This is typical of the sorts of studies that try to support the low-fat hypothesis. In this case, the problem is that they didn't give sufficient time to adjust to the new diet. It appears that the rats were only given 4 days to adjust to the high-fat diet, compared with weeks on the low-fat diet. The problem is that when the body switches from burning carbohydrates to fats, the fuel the brain uses changes from glucose to ketone bodies. As anyone who has tried a low-carb diet can tell you, for the first several days (a week or two for some people--no idea what it would be for rats) you feel rather dull and drained for several days. Then one day the "brain fairy" arrives and you have more energy, physically and mentally, than you've had in years.

    I spent years as a near-vegetarian on a very low-fat diet and what it got me was literally 200 lbs. overweight and type 2 diabetes. I've now lost 46 lbs. on a low carb diet getting about 60% of my calories from FAT, my type 2 diabetes is basically cured, and I feel better than I've felt in at least ten years. My lipid profile has also improved dramatically.

    Every study done thus far looking at low-carb vs. low-fat has shown that low-fat is a failure (read the studies, not just the blurbs or the conclusions). Think about it... over the past 20 years, Americans have reduced their fat intake by 25% and type 2 diabetes has increased by 1000%, heart disease has become MORE prevalent, strokes have become MORE prevalent. The Low Fat experiment is a failure. And make sure to read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubes.

  • by rackeer (1607869) on Monday August 17, 2009 @08:51AM (#29090291) Homepage
    References?
    I read articles about nutrition and cognition some time ago. In general high energy expenditure and low energy intake have about the same effect (however rather long-term as far as I recall). "Exercise and the brain: something to chew on" [nih.gov] listed this food as potentially beneficial (though effects are not well-studied yet):
    - omega-3 fatty acid (e.g. fish oil),
    - some teas,
    - fruits,
    - folate (vitamin B9),
    - spices, and
    - other vitamins.

    In another article, "Impact of Energy Intake and Expenditure on Neuronal Plasticity" [nih.gov], I found that saturated fats and cholesterol increase the risk of cognitive decline.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 17, 2009 @09:40AM (#29090875)

    Again, there is ample evidence to show that some people (as in many thousands) have consumed well under 2000 calories a month for decades, in the form of carbohydrates, while doing hard physical work - and wound up grossly obese.

    If this were true, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization wouldn't have calculated the overall minimum daily per person energy requirement to be 1680 kcal/day, for light physical activity. Your exaggeration is grossly obese. Alternatively, you're only considering the most outrageous of outliers, which is meaningless for the average person.

  • by jandersen (462034) on Monday August 17, 2009 @09:57AM (#29091141)

    What you replyto may have been uniformed and biased, but you are not much better, I think - you sound almost religious.

    AFAIK carbohydrates in any form are not required nutrients. At least, there are plenty of documented cases of people living long, happy, healthy, productive lives without ever tasting them. The Inuit, for instance, used to regard plants as unfit for human consumption, and would never touch them unless they were starving. OTOH there is evidence that excessive carbohydrates (or possibly the wrong kind) can gradually bring about insulin resistance, obesity, and eventually diabetes.

    You know wrong, then. Humans, being apes, basically, need a typical ape-diet: mostly fruits and other not too tough plant material supplied with some meat, most of which ought to be insects. Fruits contain lots of carbohydrates, and meat actually contains some too; it's not all protein. I don't know where you have that about the Inuit from, but I find it unlikely that they would shun any source of food, when they live in such harsh conditions. When you put forth such claims, you really need to give proper sources, otherwise they are simply not convincing.

    What it is that brings on insulin resistance and diabetes is still very much open to debate. The only thing we are almost certain we know is that a varied diet and exercise is the best way to avoid it. The modern western diet is incredibly montonous in terms of its basic composition, and more so if you live on processed food, which is more or less made from industrial waste and additives (OK, I admit it, not 100% accurate, but still uncomfortably close).

    Simple equation: energy in == energy consumed

    There is nothing wrong with this equation as such; it really underlies it all. Where the complications come in is in how to consistently eat less than we need for a prolonged period of time, when we are surrounded by easy calory-options all the time. Any one who has been on a diet knows how desperately hard it can be - and it is not even the feeling of hunger that is bad, it is the fact that your body plays all sorts of tricks to make you abandon your diet; suddenly your motivation is all gone, suddenly you don't feel fat at all and so on. No, it really is as simple as eating less than you need, and that really is so difficult.

    Again, there is ample evidence to show that some people (as in many thousands) have consumed well under 2000 calories a month for decades, in the form of carbohydrates, while doing hard physical work - and wound up grossly obese. Just as others (usually much wealthier) have eaten far more than 2000 calories a day for years, while doing little or no physical work, and remained lean and fit.

    Hard evidence, please? As you say, it is "ample", so it should be easy to produce. And I think you probably mean 2000 kcal a day; only dead people consume less than 2000 kcal a month, and they don't generally look fat too me.

    Yes, that's right - join the bulk of the scientific, medical, and political establishments - and the big food manufacturers who fund them - and blame the victims. It might be possible to do as you suggest if they would tell us what constitutes a healthy diet. Most intelligent, open-minded people who have taken the trouble to inquire about the subject and researched it widely for years must be quite bewildered by now.

    So, you don't include the medical scientists in those that have researched the subject for years? Interesting. Still, you are misrepresenting things here - what the scientists say has not varied wildly over the years; the fact that you have to eat less than you need if you want to lose weight has never changed; but as we learn more about why people eat and how the body reacts to it, we also have to change our opinion about how to manage the difficult task of losing weight in a healthy way. And of course it doesn't help a lot that every time a new scientific finding is published, it is taken away by some money grabbing idiot, who then trumpets it as the new, sensational diet of the moment.

  • by DrLang21 (900992) on Monday August 17, 2009 @10:58AM (#29092009)
    The problem with extra weight (depending on where you're starting off) is that it's hard on the joints of your body and the extra effort to do anything makes you less likely to get up and move around. I would advise against wearing weights unless it's part of a controlled training program.
  • by DrLang21 (900992) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:13AM (#29092219)
    Unless you've figured out how to defy the laws of thermodynamics [wikipedia.org], energy in == energy out applies. Period. Every calorie you consume must go somewhere and every ounce of fat you have must come from a calorie you consumed.
  • by plague3106 (71849) on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:37AM (#29092631)

    This is bullshit. They've done numerous studies disproving it. The people that are thin are ACTUALLY EATING LESS than the people that are fat. Thats what is always boils down to.

    http://medicalmyths.wordpress.com/2008/08/20/obesity-is-not-caused-by-slow-metabolism/ [wordpress.com]

  • by yabos (719499) on Monday August 17, 2009 @12:39PM (#29093773)
    People doing ketosis will usually have a carb up once per week. The reason is to replenish your body's glycogen(glucose+water) storage which contained in your liver and muscle.

    Ketosis diets like the anabolic diet work extremely well for a lot of people. Carbs are not a required nutrient if you define required as needed to sustain life. Your body can live off of fat/keytones just fine. People who feel like shit on keytosis diets are most likely not doing it right. The first week or so when your body is transitioning is tough but after that you should not feel bad. If you are not eating enough fat then you will feel bad.
  • by spectro (80839) on Monday August 17, 2009 @01:15PM (#29094477) Homepage
    People doing ketosis will usually have a carb up once per week

    Not quite, at least what Atkins proposes is that you regulate your weight gain/loss by increasing/decreasing your daily carb intake while ingesting a high-fat diet, in short:

    • Start with 20g of carbs a day for 2 weeks (induction phase, to deplete your glycocen reserves)
    • Add 5g carbs a week until you no longer lose weight, subtract 5g to it, that is your Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL) carb amount (if you no longer losing weight at 60g carbs a day, then 55g is OWL)
    • Keep eating your daily OWL carbs until you reach your weight goal.

    People who feel like shit on keytosis diets are most likely not doing it right

    Correct, the key to trigger ketosis is HIGH FAT, about 60% of your daily calories must come from fat. This is the most controversial point of his diet due to the never-proven medical belief that "eating fat makes you fat".

    Dr. Atkins clearly wrote in that book that you should not keep induction phase forever, nor you should stop eating carbs at all. It just tells you that you can eat as many calories as you like as long as most of them are from fat while keeping carbs in check. Also high-protein doesn't work, he claims excess protein gets metabolized into glucose making the diet counterproductive.

  • by plague3106 (71849) on Monday August 17, 2009 @02:31PM (#29095593)

    Ok... read the link and the numerous other studies. Metabolism doesn't have a bearing on weight loss.

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/metabolism/WT00006 [mayoclinic.com]

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