31 Oct 2018

How Junk Food Affects the Brain

Nutrition Advice

We are all aware that junk food is bad for us yet we eat it anyway. Why? Because junk foods, according to studies, are refined to hit you right in the sweet spot – your brain. Let’s find out.

Junk food is one of the leading causes of obesity and can increase your risk of developing diabetesNew research indicates that junk food can also negatively affect your memory.

Bad diets have been linked to dementia due to high blood pressure and cholesterol disrupting the blood supply to the brain. Research now confirms that junk foods can prevent brain cells from responding properly to insulin.

What Happens to Your Brain When you Eat Junk Food?

Junk food tricks us into thinking it’s not heavy food. That’s the bottom line or, in this case, the brain line. Junk food uses a cunning array of sensory contrasts to make our takeaway eating experience pleasurable.

For a start, there is the taste, be it sweet or salty, and how it feels in our mouth – a perfect blend of sauces, softness, and crunch, as well as an exciting mix of flavours.

Then there is the nutritional makeup of junk food. And this is where junk food manufacturers get particularly devious. They research and develop exactly the right combination of sugar, salt, and fat to stimulate our brain and get us trapped into the junk food habit. It's the same with processed foods that you should avoid.

Eating an excess of fatty foods and sweets can increase an individual’s insulin level. This causes the muscles, fat and liver cells to no longer respond to the hormone. Research indicates that subjecting the brain to a large amount of insulin can lead it to stop responding to the hormone. This, in turn, restricts your ability to think and create new memories.

Eat healthy by knowing what exactly are you consuming. Read our blog on How to Read Nutrition Labels and understand food facts better.

How Junk Food Affects the Brain

Swatting for exams? Or just trying to power your way through a major work assignment. The worst thing you can do is feed your overworking brain exactly what it thinks it needs to cut down on cook time. Yes, junk food might be a quick way to relieve the hunger pains, but you’ll be craving something a lot more important soon after – clarity.

Junk food, any junk food, is a flavour-filled sedative guaranteed to turn any meaningful study or work session into a complete waste of time; it’s junk food, not brain food.

And to be honest, it won’t just make you feel dull and disinterested while you try to be the complete opposite, junk food will do its best to make you forget all attempts at cognitive thinking and go to bed.

It may even convince you that studying is a waste of time as you’re going to fail anyway. Yes, junk food can make you depressed, particularly if you eat a lot of it.

So don’t go for the quick fix; stop and take the time to cook and eat something that feeds your brain and gives you the energy to make those study hours meaningful hours, not just dumbed down, unproductive hours.

Want to fight the good fight for healthier eating? Our nationally accredited 10136NAT Diploma of Nutrition (Non-Clinical Advisor) qualifies you to become a non-clinical Nutrition Advisor and promote healthy nutrition and well-being solutions! Enquire now or call us on 1300 616 180 and speak to one of our career advisors for more information. 

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