Low-carb diets make you stupid

Study shows that depriving the brain of carbs leads to memory loss

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A Tufts University study conducted by professors at the school’s psych department and to be published in the February issue of Appetite found that dieters who eliminated carbs from their meals flamed out on subsequent memory-tests compared to dieters who ate a low-calorie diet which included carbs. Here’s the interesting part: when those carb-deprived stumble-bums started eating carbs again, their cognitive skills came back.

The reason behind this diet-induced idiocy is simple. The brain runs on glucose which is what the body makes from carbohydrates. The faster a person can get glucose to their brain, the sharper their brain function. In contrast, high fat/high protien diets seriously slow down this process. In effect, those on the Atkins diet suffer from a sort of energy brown-out of the brain. They’ve got energy, just not enough to operate at peak power.

OK, now that we know this, I have to inject a note of sanity here. This news doesn’t mean y’all can go out and munch through a plate of blueberry scones to power up your memory before renewing your license at the DMV. Too many of those carbs will just make you fat. Remember people, fruits and vegetables are carbs. Better to put down the bread and heed the Michael Pollan/In Defense of Food, manifesto: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Eat a salad instead.

In the meantime, feel free to unload all your dark secrets to someone who tells you they’ve been on a no-carb diet for a few weeks. Chances are they won’t remember anything you said. (OK, that’s not true, but I’m obviously not a fan of the no-carb scene. Plus, I feel a bit snarky today.)