2. Refined Carbs
Refined carbohydrates are made up of highly processed grains and sugars, for instance white flour, and these kind of carbs tend to have a high glycemic index. In simpler words, our body is capable of digesting refined carbs quickly, which leads to a spike in the insulin levels and blood sugar.
Moreover, when refined carbs are consumed in large amounts, these food items tend to cause a high glycemic load (GL), which basically refers to the extent a certain food item can increase your food levels depending on the serving size you consumes.
According to research, food items that tend to fall high on the glycemic index and glycemic load have been associated with impairments in brain functioning. Researchers have highlighted the fact that a single meal that has a high glycemic load can cause memory impairments amongst both, adults and children.
Another research conducted amongst a sample of healthy university students revealed that individuals who had a higher consumption of refined sugar and fat also had a significantly poorer memory. Experts believe that these memory impairments can occur due to the developments of inflammation within the hippocampus, which is an area of the brain that controls certain features of our memory, along with responsiveness to hunger and cues of satiation.
Inflammation is one of the primary risk factors that lead to the development of degenerative diseases that affect the brain, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. One study attempted to study the profiles of elderly individuals who consumed over 58% of their daily caloric intake from carbohydrates. The results revealed that they had twice the risk of development dementia of mental impairment.
Excessive consumption of carbohydrates tends to cause several other adverse effects on the brain as well. For instance, a research revealed that children, ranging between the ages of 6-7, who had high refined carbs-diet scored significantly worse on nonverbal intelligence. However, the results of this study failed to highlight whether there was a link between lower scores and the consumption of refined carbs, or if these low scores resulted directly due to refined carb intake.
It is essential to understand that excessive consumption of refined carbs that have a high glycemic index and glycemic load cause memory and intelligence impairments, along with raising the risk factors of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Instead, brim up your daily diet with healthy carbs, such as whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits, which have significantly lower glycemic load and pack up countless nutritional benefits.