MONTPELLIER, France — Snacking on junk food in between meals could mean a rough end to the workday. Researchers in France have found that eating too many processed carbs (like sugar and white bread) can affect the way our brains work.
A team from the University of Montpellier explain that when we eat a lot of these types of foods, our bodies produce a hormone called insulin to help deal with all the sugar in our bloodstream. When we keep eating these foods, however, we can become insulin-resistant, which means our bodies don’t respond to insulin like they should.
The new study suggests that this could lead to a decline in cognitive abilities — which includes our thinking, memory, and learning skills. The researchers wanted to see if this happens in young, healthy adults, so they gathered 95 people between the ages of 20 and 30 in France to be part of the study. The participants had to be healthy, regularly eat breakfast, and not have any food allergies.
From there, the team tested the cognitive abilities of these young adults and also kept track of what they ate, especially during breakfast, afternoon snacks, and other snacks between meals. These are the times when people often eat foods high in processed carbs.