It’s no secret that indulging in a diet that is high in fat will affect your physicality. The more high-fat foods you eat, the higher the risk of health problems such as obesity. However, a new study shows that these diets can also have a physiological effect on the brain.
Researchers at Yale University studied how the consumption of a diet with high amounts of fat and carbohydrates can affect your brain.
They found that inflammation of the hypothalamus, which is located at the base of the brain, occurs days before a physical change can occur. After observing these changes in animal subjects, they discovered that the change occurred on a cellular level, with the structure of microglial cells being altered due to the changes to their mitochondria.
This then affected neurons in the animal’s brains, which triggered a signal that stimulated the animals to eat even more. Researchers believe that this illustrates how an unhealthy diet can actually neurologically alter our need to intake food.
“There are specific brain mechanisms that get activated when we expose ourselves to specific type of foods,” says Sabrina Diana, lead researcher, via Neuroscience News. “This is a mechanism that may be important from an evolutionary point of view. However, when food rich in fat and carbs is constantly available it is detrimental.”
Next time you reach for that second helping of french fries, think about how it’s affecting not only your body but your brain.