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Fatty Foods Affect Memory and Exercise Performance 379

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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  • n/a (Score:1, Interesting)

    by floppycat ( 1592023 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @06:05AM (#29089597)
    Were all participants americans? If yes, this study says nothing about the rest of world population. Seriously, metabolism of humans differs across the world, like for example asians can't metabolize alcohol well.
  • by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <> on Monday August 17, 2009 @06:09AM (#29089607) Journal

    However how does it compare when you drop almost all carbohydrates and bring your body into ketosis? I always feel really energetic then, after "fat" food too. This doesn't include such fatty food than pizza and deep fried fries, but high-fat and high-protein meat, fish, ground beef and so on. Pizza and such is completely different, I think it comes from when you mix fat and carbohydrates (either "good" or "bad" ones) together.

    Also my stomach feels a lot better when eating high-fat/protein food with next to nothing carbs. I also get much more work done that way when I feel great after eating too.

    So definitely there is differences in body when eating fat together with carbs, and when eating fat but without carbs.

  • Motivation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bencollier ( 1156337 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @06:13AM (#29089631) Homepage
    No-one seems to have spotted the fact that the rats who were being fed fatty food may have had less motivation for completing the maze, given that the reward was more food. Am I missing something or is this entire study invalid?
  • by Shivetya ( 243324 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @06:13AM (#29089633) Homepage Journal

    because while I can chow down on an ounce, usually more, of almonds which are high in fat it does not "seem" to affect me as much as if I am eating foods the pizza you mentioned.

    I am curious what the break down is. As in, which fats are good/bad for the tests they performed. Now I will state in my case I bloat less from fatty foods compared to carb laden food and I have far less trouble with my sugar levels as well. I think we are missing some key information from this article.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @06:14AM (#29089635)

    It is written so it is true?

    Sorry, but "if you don't believe me, look there" is no way to prove anything. I mean, the earth is 6000 years old, if you don't believe me, read the Bible...

  • by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <> on Monday August 17, 2009 @06:16AM (#29089647) Journal

    Just to note before someone comes saying, that drop to ketosis takes 3-5 days and you shouldnt eat more than 15-20g of carbs a day. After 6-7 days your body has adjusted and you start feeling really really great and you have a lot more energy than previously, and wont hungry all the time. But it takes that period to adjust your body into it, so you cant just try it 1-2 days and say you feel like shit.

  • Re:Motivation (Score:3, Interesting)

    by IBBoard ( 1128019 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @06:23AM (#29089677) Homepage

    I think you must have missed part of the study. They explained before-hand to the rats that if they completed the maze then they'd get good quality food instead of McDonalds drippings (the coagulated fat from frying, in case it is a British thing) but they still couldn't make themselves do any better ;)

  • by Delifisek ( 190943 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @06:24AM (#29089685) Homepage

    Totally agreed.

    3 years before I start to work from home. My daily activity nearly zero. I sit chair every day. And I don't do any sport activity. Even barelly walking. Then I begin to gain weight. Probably I reach somewhere 125 kg.

    2 months before I watch a documentary about eating Macs and dropping weight. Commentor says he was on low carb diet.

    So I say why not ?

    I Cut every carb, coke, icecream, sugar, bread, rice, pasta, cookies, chips even water mellon. And begin to eat meat etc.

    Guess what ?

    I'm melting man. I'm melting while I eat same amount of food. My skin get better, I do not get hugry as before. My wounds heal faster.

    Now I'm about 110 kg. It was very nice to drop weight while, sitting and eating barbecue.

    I just wonder what if I goto fitness center and do for example one hour working a day.

    Just drop your blood sugar level. Your body will recover.

  • what fats? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tick-tock-atona ( 1145909 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @06:38AM (#29089739)
    I'm assuming these are saturated or trans-fats, which are known to cause disease and are already suspected to contribute [] to neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease, rather than polyunsaturated fats are supposedly good for you []. Neither TFA nor the study abstract indicate what they actually fed the rats.
  • by sw155kn1f3 ( 600118 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @06:48AM (#29089785)

    It's very surprising that these scientists don't read basic articles in their field.
    Anyone who read at least one article at this topic: [] knows that eating 50% fat, 50% carbohydrates will make your insulin spike like hell, much worse than just eating all that fat and carbs but separately separated by 2-3 hours.
    Insulin spike will cause direct hit on your glucose levels to the point of hypoglycemia, hence the fatigue and slow brain + longterm increased body fat. As a result you're hungry very fast and still have no energy.
    Just eat them separately.
    Or take more powerful approach with carb cycle diet: []
    It works. I feel great all the time. Was not the case on Atkin's or any other food plan I ever been on (was obese since childhood, now not).

  • by jamesh ( 87723 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @07:02AM (#29089823)

    Low or no-carb diets are bad.

    I remember watching a doco on low-carb high protein diets. They found that atkins was on to something, not with the low carbs but with the high protein. The group that had to have a lot of protein but could additionally eat anything else they wanted didn't actually end up eating much of anything else. The high protein seemed to cut down the cravings for snacks, snacks being what ruins most otherwise good diets.

    Simple equation: energy in == energy consumed.

    I don't think it's quite that simple for everyone. I've been through periods of eating really badly (high fat takeaway for lunch every day for weeks on end) and then really healthy, with identical exercise level (~none), and my weight never moved outside the 69-71kg range that i seem to have been stuck at for the last 5-10 years. I've added up the calories I intake vs the exercise I do (next to none) and by all calculations I should be a balloon. 69-71kg would be about right for my height if there was a bit more muscle on me.

    If I don't eat very regularly (eg breakfast at 8am, i'll need something fairly substantial by 10am) I get the shakes and start feeling really really spaced out and crave sugar. If I continue to not eat it kind of settles down and I start feeling a bit normal again but a few hours later i'll get a horrible headache that won't go away for days even with painkillers (although something with a lot of caffeine helps at bit if it goes that far). I've been tested for diabetes and hypoglycemia several times over the years and nothing has showed anything out of the ordinary... i assume i'm just a bit more sensitive to small drops in blood sugar levels than most people.

  • by mr_stark ( 242856 ) <tim@[ ] ['trg' in gap]> on Monday August 17, 2009 @07:21AM (#29089901)

    I'm always amused when this kind of research comes out, talking about how fats are bad for you. Its much more complex than that. You really should be measure total calorie amount not just fat content. Too many calories is bad full stop. As other posters have mentioned the lack of energy is probably only a short term effect of switching to fat as a fuel source. I've switched over to a high fat/low carb diet (F50/P30/C20) and have no issues with lethargy or lack of concentration. I've got no problems with day to day programming tasks and haven't encountered any strength or endurance degradation in the gym.

    I'm of the option that fat - esp saturated fat - is a much heather macro nutrient that carbs. The only carbs that the human digestive system can process in a raw state is sugar (think fruit), starch can be converted to sugar also but most of the other so called healthy carb sources needs processing before humans can consume them. Potatoes have to be cooked (try eating raw potatoes and see what happens), as does rice, wheat and grains have to be ground down into a powder. Fat on the other hand can be eaten straight off the animal. Humans aren't evolved to eat significant amounts of carbs.

  • by JasterBobaMereel ( 1102861 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @07:35AM (#29089963)

    Polyunsaturated fats - Good
    monounsaturated fat - Good
    Staturated fats - Bad
    Trans-fats - Very Bad

    Almonds mostly contain monounsaturated fat which can lower your cholesterol ....

  • by Caue ( 909322 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @07:51AM (#29090001)
    Potatoes don't have to be cooked - thay are just better when cooked. My mother used to make me eat raw potatoes whenever I had stomach problems - it levels the acidity.
  • Re:Captain Obvious (Score:3, Interesting)

    by value_added ( 719364 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @08:02AM (#29090047)

    The news actually are a cleverly disguised "Fat people are dumb".

    They're also more expensive [].

    Quoth the article:

    Two years ago, the Cleveland Clinic stopped hiring smokers. It was one part of a "wellness initiative" that has won the renowned hospital -- which President Obama recently visited -- some very nice publicity. The clinic has a farmers' market on its main campus and has offered smoking-cessation classes for the surrounding community.

    Refusing to hire smokers may be more hard-nosed than the other parts of the program. But given the social marginalization of smoking, the policy is hardly shocking. All in all, the wellness initiative seems to be a feel-good story.

    Which is why it is so striking to talk to Delos M. Cosgrove, the heart surgeon who is the clinic's chief executive, about the initiative. Cosgrove says that if it were up to him, if there weren't legal issues, he would not only stop hiring smokers. He would also stop hiring obese people. When he mentioned this to me during a recent phone conversation, I told him that I thought many people might consider it unfair. He was unapologetic.

    Translation for reading comprehension impaired: Obama wants to kill fat people. ;-)

  • by tchuladdiass ( 174342 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @09:47AM (#29090993) Homepage

    I always wondered why many people are constantly in a particular weight range, no matter what, even if that range is about 20 - 30 pounds higher than what it should be. My theory: Say you start putting on extra weight. That is more weight you have to carry around during your normal activities. So you burn more calories during the day, which causes you to drop back down to the upper end of your range. Now if you go on a health kick (not necessarily a crash diet) and drop 30 pounds, then go back to your normal routine. All of a sudden you are burning fewer calories a day than you did prior to losing weight, simply because you aren't carrying that extra 30 pounds with you wherever you go.

    So the solution to effective weight loss? Wear a weighted belt around your waist. Every time you drop 5 pounds, add another 5 pound weight to your belt (or add the weight to it first, and you will naturally lose that 5 pounds without trying).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 17, 2009 @11:34AM (#29092569)

    Saturated fat is not bad especially saturated fat from animal meats. It is high in nutrients like vitamin A which your body can't even absorb without fat. Interesting how people keep mentioning pizza which is not only high in fat but also high in refined carbohydrates. So why does fat get the blame? Also, your overall cholesterol level is being shown to be less and less of a reliable indicator for risk of heart disease. Your triglyceride levels are a better indicator as well as obesity.
    There are many people who are challenging the conventional wisdom that low-fat, high carb diets are in fact healthy. A good book that exposes much of the junk science on which our health recommendations are based upon is 'Good calories, Bad calories' by Gary Taubes.

  • by arminw ( 717974 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @02:45PM (#29095795)

    ....This year it is fat that is bad for you, next year it is carbs, next year it is red meat, next year refined sugar, etc....

    How right you are! It is not those things in themselves, but the fact that all of them have been denatured by modern industrial food processing. Eskimos for example eat predominantly fat and are perfectly healthy doing so. In the Philippines and Pacific Islands, people eat lots of fat, coconut fat to be exact and are very healthy on the native diet. It is only when they switch over to the modern Western diet, when they get sick. It is not fat per se that is bad, but the KIND of fat and what is done to it with industrial processing. Vegetable oils, with the exception of olive oil, are extracted under high heat and pressure, but these fats are damaged by these processes and should be avoided. The same is true of hydrogenation, which is what is done to margarine and fats such as Crisco. Frying foods with these fats under high heat damages these fats even further, so that eating them is akin to eating glass shards on the molecular level. The pasteurization of milk destroys almost all of its enzymes, that in nature help the calf, and by extension the people, to digest it. The homogenization of milk keeps the milk fat particles in suspension by making them very small. They've become so small as a matter of fact, that they are able to pass directly through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream, where they help clog your arteries.

    White sugar and white flour also have many nutrients stripped out of them, that nature originally had in the wheat grains and sugar cane plant. Also with today's artificial fertilizer agriculture, the soil has been depleted and so the plants grown in them are not as healthy anymore. The healthiest diet is one that consists as much as possible of organic fresh foods together with other products that have been minimally processed from their natural state. The bottom line is fairly simple. It costs money to stay healthy. In the end you will either spend your money for better quality food in the grocery store, or you will spend it at the doctor's office and in the hospital.

  • Re:Ridiculous (Score:3, Interesting)

    by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Monday August 17, 2009 @04:41PM (#29097327) Journal

    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).

    Not true in the slightest. In fact, controlled studies comparing the various diets, side-by-side, have found minimal differences between the various approaches.

    In short, eat whatever the hell you want, but eat less of it fat ass! You'll be healthier person if you're 140lbs surviving on potato chips than if you're 300lbs with a well-rounded diet.

    Anyone claiming their diet plan has any special benefits if either a shill or a fool. If it existed, we'd all know about it by now. Instead, people keep trying every diet, and the population just keeps getting fatter.

    Fat, carbohydrates, processed sugars, dairy... eat whatever, just cut down on the calories and you'll lose weight... It's a simple and fundamental law of physics. Simply, find a way to lose weight and you'll get much healthier, and feel much better, rather than being a useless fat blob.

    When I had no refrigeration for about a month, and I survived drinking almost nothing but cans of soda, I lost close to 10 pounds. When I was surviving entirely on fast food, I lost weight. When I was surviving almost entirely on carbs (rice, pasta, bread, ramen, etc), I lost weight. 55 pounds later, I can say with confidence, all the trendy diets, and nutritional scare tactics are pure idiocy.

Kill Ugly Processor Architectures - Karl Lehenbauer