How eating sweets impacts your memory
Researchers found that eating sweets stimulates neurons in the portion of the brain linked to episodic memory, which controls one’s ability to recall a previous experience from a specific place and time.
“Keeping track of what you eat and when can help you make better choices when it comes to planning your meals,” says Barbara Melendi, registered dietitian at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “It can keep you from overeating or indulging too much in foods that lack nutritional value.”
In a previous study, the research team also concluded that disrupting the memory-making process after a meal could cause people to eat an increased amount of food sooner than they would have otherwise.
“Your body tells you when it’s in need of food, and maintaining a memory of your meals is an important part of that natural process,” says Melendi. “Make planning and enjoying what you eat a priority whenever you can to help avoid oversized portions and unnecessary snacking.”
Melendi recommends people write down what they eat and drink every day in order to have a complete picture of their diet, especially if weight loss is a goal. Keeping a food journal could help identify ways people can improve their eating habits, and is a healthier alternative to memory-jogging sweets.
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