Low carbohydrate diet can affect memory
Low carbohydrate diets encourage people to reduce their intake of starchy foods such as rice, potatoes, pasta and bread, sugars, fruits and some vegetables. These diets have proved controversial as they have been linked to a number of health issues including kidney problems and heart disease. Now it seems that this type of diet may also affect mental performance. The study published in the journal Appetite was conducted by scientists at Tufts university in the US. The research involved 2 groups of women, one group followed a low carbohydrate diet, the other a low calorie diet. The low carbohydrate diet invloved one week of eating no carbohydrates at all, one week of 5-8g of carbohydrate and one week of 10-16g. The participants had to complete 5 cognitive tests before the diet and then at weeks 1, 2 and 3. The study found that the low carbohydrate group perfomed worse on the menory based tasks than the low carbohydrate group but when carbohydrates were reintroduced into their diet, their scores improved.
Eat Well comment: At Eat Well we do not advocate low carbohydrate diets. This study makes sense to us as we know that glucose (that we derive primarily from carbohydrates) is need in constant supply to for our brain cells to function. We may look changing the proportion or the quality of carbohydrate in your diet but giving up a whole food group can be detrimental to your health.