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brain health



Looking at Fatty Foods May Make You Fat

By Bob Greene for TheBestLife.com

You already know that eating fatty foods can cause you to pack on pounds, but a recent study suggests that simply seeing fatty foods can lead to cravings that can result in weight gain.

In the study, researchers at the University of Southern California showed 13 obese women images of different foods–both healthy (fruits and veggies) and not-so-healthy (hamburgers, cookies and cakes)–as well as non-food photos. They then asked the women to rate their hunger level and desire for sweet and savory foods. During the experiment, researchers did an MRI scan of participants’ brains. The researchers found that the brains’ reward and appetite control centers lit up when the women looked at the images of fatty foods.

Eating or drinking while being exposed to these types of images—it’s just like nibbling while you’re watching TV or browsing Pinterest, for instance—seems to worsen the effects. In the study, researchers gave the women a sugary drink of glucose (similar to a can of soda) or fructose (another sweetener), to sip while looking at the various images. After slurping down both drinks, women felt hungrier and had a stronger desire for sweet and savory foods. Fructose seemed to do this even more so than glucose.
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Type 3 Diabetes: The Link Between Alheizmer’s and Diabetes

When I was told that there could be another type of diabetes all I could do was cringe. With the rate at which diagnosis of type 2 is rising, adding one more type to mix is an overwhelming thought.

Type 3 diabetes was first discovered in 2005. A study from Brown University has linked that eating too much sugar has an effect on brain function. Insulin resistance means that circulating insulin is not being used the way it should to get glucose into cells. If the brain does not receive the energy and nourishment it needs, it begins to deteriorate, and those deteriorating brain cells can result in confusion and memory loss. Over the long term, more permanent memory loss could progress to Alzheimer’s disease.

The nutrition recommendations to help prevent type 3 diabetes are the same as they are for type 2, which include eating sugar in moderation, managing your weight, and eating smaller portion sizes. More studies will need to be conducted to confirm that type 3 diabetes is a separate form of diabetes versus a complication of type 2 diabetes.
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Raw Food Dieters are Starving Their Brains

Certain diets can change a person’s lifestyle. For examples, vegans live by a moral code that they will not have any animal product in or on their body. A popular diet that has made headlines in the past years is the raw food diet, which is the process of eating only raw fruits, vegetables, and some meats. Raw food dieters can cook the fruits, vegetables, and meats but at temperatures below 115 degrees Fahrenheit.

The raw food diet has received praise for being an effective weight-loss diet. It is not very hard to understand why the raw food diet is an effective diet. Dieters are eating foods with few calories yet they are getting plenty of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. But, sometimes cooking raw food can boost the number of nutrients in foods.

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that those on a raw food diet could be starving their brain from much needed calories. Our resident dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD, shared her opinion on the study, saying it “was done to add support to the theory that speculates that the shift to cooked foods was responsible for the evolution of primitive creatures into modern humans.”
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Brain Neurons Influence Weight Gain and Diabetes

Jason Knapfel manages content for the WeightWise Bariatric Program in Edmond, Oklahoma.

If someone tries to motivate you by telling you that weight loss is “all in your head,” they may be right in more ways than one. A lack of AgRP brain neurons has been linked to a greater potential for being obese or developing diabetes. However, that outcome may be linked to your diet… If a study on mice can be shown to have a parallel to humans.

According to a research report published in The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Journal, lack of AgRP-neurons, brain cells involved in controlling food intake, led to obesity if the mice studied were fed a regular carbohydrate diet. However, when the animals are raised on a high-fat diet, they end up leaner and healthier.

The different outcomes are due to how the AgRP neurons influence the way the body breaks down and stores nutrients. Mice that lack the brain neurons don’t adapt well to a carbohydrate diet and appear to have a metabolism best suited for a high-fat diet.
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To Train Well, Train Your Brain: The Difference Between Finishing and Failing

Famous athletes are often admired for their great skill, superhuman strength, or fantastic endurance. What many forget that there is something an athlete needs even more than these attributes: a trained mind.

Mental preparation has increasingly become important as sports have evolved. Sports psychology is a discipline completely devoted to the study, and adages like “mind over matter” are common in everyday speech. Although there is still much to learn about how the brain works in connection with fitness, athletes can learn many mental strategies to help improve their game.

Endurance athletes know how important keeping one’s mind in control is. In long races, the body will eventually send messages of pain to the brain and the athlete will want to stop. To finish, you must be able to not only keep going, but also keep up a good pace. Pain and injuries are inevitable; giving up is not.
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