The Richmond Register

Lifestyles & Community

August 24, 2009

Low-carb diet impairs mental cognition

Atkins and other low-carb dieters are likely to suffer decreased mental performance, according to a recent study at Tufts University in Boston. Scientists found that participants performed worse on mental tests after just a week on a low-carb diet.

One of the most popular low-carb diets is the Atkins Diet, which eliminates carbohydrates such as bread, potatoes and sugar but allows protein and fat. Some fruits and vegetables also are restricted. The Atkins Diet proposes that the body burns more calories through an elevated metabolic rate than normal diets. The recent study, however, suggests that there is a mental disadvantage to counterbalance whatever physical gains might be achieved.

Holly Taylor, lead researcher in the study, warned that such a diet can have a negative impact on memory and thinking.

“The study demonstrates that the food you eat can have an immediate impact on cognitive behavior. The popular low-carb and no-carb diets have the strongest potential for negative impact on thinking and cognition,” she said.

The study followed 19 women aged 22 to 25 who were on either a low-carb diet or a low-calorie balanced diet. After only one week the 10 women on the low-carb diet performed more poorly on mental tests than those on the conventional diet. The women were tested on their short- and long-term memory, visual attention and spatial memory, the part of the memory that stores information about a person’s environment. Those on the low-carb diet showed a gradual decrease in mental tasks compared to the low-calorie dieters. Reaction time also was slower and their visual memory was not as good.

“Although this study only tracked participants for three weeks, the data suggests that diets can affect more than just weight. The brain needs glucose for energy, and diets low in carbohydrates can be detrimental to learning, memory and thinking,” Taylor said.

The research, published in the journal Appetite, found there was no difference in the hunger levels of the women. Scientists believe that low-carb diets decrease the amount of glucose available to the brain and what is needed for nerve transmission.

1
Text Only
Lifestyles & Community
  • Brandon-Sears-c.jpg Beef Cattle Association field day is Thursday

    Make plans to attend the Madison County Beef Cattle Association field day on Thursday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The event will take place at the farm of Dr. Eugene Bowling, 1437 Barnes Mill Road in Richmond. Signs will be posted.
    This meeting qualifies as a CAIP educational component.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 04.23 JessaTurner1.jpg Eat local and eat with the seasons

    This week marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day, and what could be more important to our survival than clean air, clean water and clean food?

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Amanda-Sears-c.jpg Proper care enables planting of Easter lilies

    Did you receive or purchase an Easter lily? If so, be sure to treat it right and you will be able to plant it outside this spring.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lisa Adams.jpg 4-H Camping Season Nears

    Hopefully, we have seen the last of the snow for the year, so now is the time for young people and their parents to begin making plans for an annual summer ritual, 4-H Camp.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick-Ham.jpg These things cause me concern for the future

    I was just thinking the other day about things that are happening in this country that do not bode well for the future.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • WP_20140419_001.jpg Cruisin’ with the Oldies

    With the sound of classic songs wafting through the air Saturday, hundreds of people took advantage of the summer-like temperatures and turned out for the Kirksville Community Center car show.

    April 21, 2014 9 Photos

  • 04.18 Food .jpg It’s egg party time

    I love this time of the year because eggs really do go down in price during the Easter season. I have some new recipes on how to fix eggs besides the coloring part.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 04.18 Steaks.jpg Where’s the beef?

    Today, the American consumer has more money to spend on the widest variety of foods than at any other time in our history.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4.15 Eggstravaganza 1.jpg Easter bunny's ‛eggbeater’ will fly eggs to Richmond

    Who knew the Easter bunny could fly?

    Skeptics can come to the Easter Eggstravaganza in Richmond’s Irvine-McDowell Park on Saturday to see for themselves. However, the bunny still doesn’t fly in bad weather. But on Monday, temperatures in the 60s with partly cloudy skies were predicted for Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dick-Ham.jpg We old folks have unique experiences

    A friend sent this to me by e-mail, and I thought my readers would enjoy it.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

Yes
No
     View Results