We’re not going to tell you junk food is bad for your body (you already know that).
We’re not even going to tell you junk food is bad for your brain (you probably figured as much).
But what you might not know is how junk food is bad for your brain. Turns out, there’s actually quite a lot going on in that head of yours when you fuel your noggin with fatty, sugary foods.
For one thing, a new study suggests that a diet high in fat and sugar (for even a relatively short length of time) changes the chemical activity in the brain. After just six weeks of being fed a diet high in fat and sugar, mice showed chemical changes in the brain associated with depression. The mice also showed signs of anxiety, and higher levels of stress hormones, as well as higher levels of a molecule associated with patterns of reward and withdrawal.
Last year, another study linked eating foods high in trans fats with reduced brain performance and decreased brain volume!
According to the Grocery Manufacturers Association, companies that manufacture food are already working to reduce the amounts of trans fats in food products. McDonalds, for example, stopped using trans fats to fry French fries a number of years ago.
Still, trans fats are so bad for your body and brain that the FDA is taking preliminary steps to further restrict or ban the sale of food containing trans fats.
In the meantime, what can you do? Do we even need to say it? Stop eating so much junk food. Eat fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy grains instead. You’ve heard it before. But if you want to enjoy a healthy body and good brain performance as you continue to grow or age, it’s advice worth listening to.