Stuck in the junk funk?
We all know that junk food and fast food aren’t the healthiest options when it comes to getting daily calories. Yet, we are only human and choose it sometimes. Besides contributing to excess weight, new research is now linking convenience foods to laziness.
The study done at the University of California – Los Angeles and published in the journal Physiology and Behavior, showed sluggish behavior is linked to these foods. These results are not surprising because we can all attest to feeling like taking a nap after a large meal (think Thanksgiving).
The researchers fed two groups of rats two different diets. One group ate an unprocessed fish meal diet and the other ate a highly processed diet with a lot of added sugar. The rats were given a simple task: press a lever for water.
The rats that ate the highly processed, high-sugar diet took twice as long to complete the task and obtain the water as those eating a lean diet. The rats eating this unhealthy diet became sluggish and obese.
When the diets of the two groups of rats were switched after six months, the obese rats’ behavior did not improve. They remained lazy and slow. The rats that had been eating lean and switched to a high fat diet did not slow down; they were able to function better despite the short term diet change.
The results show this: long term healthy eating is beneficial to the body and brain and unhealthy eating patterns lead to cognitive impairment.
“Planning your meals ahead of time by packing water, fresh fruit, vegetables and sandwiches allows you to skip the drive-thru, saving on calories, sodium and fat for families on the go,” says Dr. Sheehan.
Get out of the junk funk, and get into a healthy lifestyle with a focus on unprocessed foods.
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health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.