A new study from scientists in the US found that when women went on low or zero-carb diets they performed worse on thinking and memory tests compared to reducing calories without reducing carbohydrates.
When they put carbs back into their diet, their thinking and memory skills went back to normal.
Dr Holly Taylor, professor of psychology at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts and corresponding author of the study, said the findings showed that: “The food you eat can have an immediate impact on cognitive behavior.”
“The popular low-carb, no-carb diets have the strongest potential for negative impact on thinking and cognition,” she added.
Our brain cells need glucose to work, but they have no way of storing it so they rely on a continuous supply via the bloodstream.
The researchers had a hunch that reducing carbohydrate intake would reduce the body’s ability to keep the brain supplied with glucose and therefore affect cognition, since glucose comes from breaking down carbohydrates.
For the study, Taylor and colleagues recruited 19 women aged 22 to 55 and let them each choose to go on either a low carb or low calorie diet as recommended by the American Dietetic Association. Nine of them chose the low carb diet and the other 10 chose the low calorie diet.
Read more at Medical News Today