The Cognitive Advantage of Low Carb Diet

The Cognitive Advantage of Low-Carb Diet

In a Low Carb diet, FATS are essential.

Healthy fats are important for proper brain function, mood control, and hormone regulation.

Our brain is largely made up of fatty acids and requires a steady stream of fats from our diet in order to perform optimally. The more carbs and sugar you eat, the less healthy fats you consume. Every food you eat can have an immediate impact on cognitive behavior.

Carbs as energy for the body

Have you experienced tough games, workout or race? Friends or people you may know suggest to carb-load because carbs are key for boosting your energy. Your body turns them into glucose, which also directly fuels your brain. Your brain cells can only actually use glucose for energy, which makes carbs absolutely essential for powering brain function. Our brain needs glucose for energy and diets low in carbohydrates can be detrimental to learning, memory, and thinking. Carbs are considered “comfort food” and sometimes you crave carb-rich foods when you’re upset or stressed.

So, why do we need to lessen our carb intake?

Some study shows that low-carb diets have a bad reputation for affecting your brain function. Why? Because your brain needs carbs for energy, lowering your carb intake might affect your brain power and may result to “brain fog” or the feeling of fuzziness. Severe low-carb diet is not good. Balance practice of consuming carbs, protein and fats are essential for a healthy body and mind. Though low-carb could give you “brain fog” but the flip side to it, this also could be a good help in protecting you from type-2 diabetes. It is good for the brain because the insulin resistance that occurs in type-2 diabetes and pre-diabetes actually lowers your brain function according to a study published in JAMA Neurology in 2001.


Moreover, there are also some pieces of evidence that the decrease in brain function doesn’t happen for everyone following a low-carb diet. Other evidence suggests that eating low-carb might have a neutral or even positive impact on your brain function. Another study, from a 2009 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that people reported better emotional control and moods when they followed a low-carb diet for a year.


For brain health on a low-carb diet, make sure to include salmon, chia seeds, flax seed and walnuts in your low-carb meal plans. These supply omega-3 fatty acids that give nutrients to your brain it needs to make myelin, an “insulator” that helps your nerves communicate properly. Meats, leafy green veggies, nuts, and beans in your diet contribute B-complex vitamins, which help you make myelin as well as produce brain hormones, like serotonin. Including lower-carb fruits, like berries also boosts brain health. They support communication between your brain cells and brain cell survival, and including them in your diet keeps your brain healthy as you age.

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