Live Better
 
 

Junk food and your memory

Here’s another reason to cut back on foods high in sugar and saturated fat.

Overindulging in junk food may have an impact on your memory and learning ability, a study at the University of NSW has found.

The study, published in Brain, Behaviour and Immunity, found that rats who were placed on a high sugar and fat diet for one week experienced difficulity in spatial recognition – the ability to notice when an object had been moved to a new location. For us humans, poor spatial memory means that tasks like navigation and recalling where everyday items are located (now where did you leave your keys again?) become more difficult.

Of course, humans are not rats, but Professor Margaret Morris, the head of pharmacology at the University of NSW, said there is evidence that short-term exposure to junk food could affect human memory by increasing inflammation in the hippocampus, the brain structure which is critical for memory and learning.

”We know obesity causes inflammation in the body, but we didn’t realise until recently that it causes changes in the brain,” said Professor Morris said. ”Our preliminary data also indicates that the damage is not reversed when the rats are switched back to a healthy diet.”

 

Recommended Reading

Is the best diet in your genes?

Professor David Cameron-Smith explores future nutrition.

Read more

Chicken broth with wheat and spring vegetables recipe

Beautiful broad beans, peas and nutty wheat grain,

Read more

The power of resistant starch

Could the humble potato be our new superfood?

Read more

Protein salad with a punch recipe

A powerful, delicious salad to get you fuelled up..

Read more

Greens pie recipe

Get your greens fix with this scrumptious slice.

Read more

Lamb lollipops with yoghurt tzatziki dip recipe

An easy mid-week dinner the whole family will love.

Read more

The Mediterranean diet – fact or fad?

Professor Tim Crowe takes a closer look at the science.

Read more