Brain's Ability To Regulate Food Intake Impaired By High Fat Diet

Image by Lili Guo @LilyScientificArt.comWe feel a need to put disclaimers in place, reading the headlines of new research about the impact of a high-fat diet on the brain’s ability to self-regulate food intake. While it’s true that willpower doesn’t rule in this new scientific understanding of obesity, researchers aren’t saying that humans have no ability to take action against obesity.

Researchers now have a clearer understanding of how a high-fat diet impacts brain function.

Australian professor Michael Cowley says that there were two clear outcomes from his latest research on brain function and obesity:

1. A high-fat diet caused brain cells to become insulated from the body, leaving the brain not open to receive satiety signals or a message that says ‘I’m full.’

2. Secondly, the insulated brain was unable to detect signals to increase energy and burn off calories.

In a real sense, a high-fat diet demolishes the brain’s ability to self-regulate our bodies. It doesn’t destroy our ability to think, to write down our food consumption and add up the calories daily, or to remember to go to the gym.

While it is true that obese brains shrink in size and in the section of the brain responsible for critical thinking, we are not totally helpless to take action against eating too much food. What is increasingly clear is that a high-fat diet demolishes the body’s natural ability to self-regulate.

After eating a high-fat diet, if we are waiting for our brains to tell us to stop eating, or even to tell us that we are full and don’t need more food, we will still be waiting when the hearse takes us to the funeral home. Perhaps the French rules around eating too much food aren’t as demonic as they appear. Yes, the French eat a high-fat diet, but they have stringent rules around snacking and portion size. via Science Daily

More Reading:

America’s High Fat Diet Alters Crucial Aspects of Brain’s Dopamine Signaling

Junk Food Creates Dopamine-Deficit Addiction in Rats

Comfort Food, Obesity and Severe Brain Degeneration

Can MacDonald’s Make You Stupid?

In Rats, Fast Food Impacts Brain Like Heroin