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Is Ice Cream or Cake damaging Your Brain?


by Jeanne Hamblen


New and interesting research is suggesting your brain is making you fat and the fat may be damaging your brain?


These worrying comments relate to the very latest research by The Annual Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior in Illinois, USA.  


This new study has just reported that it concludes “obesity may ultimately be a disease of the brain”.


It seems the problem relates to the way that you can recall past memories or if you can remember the words of your favourite song? They are looking at subconscious memories not the conscious sort.


It is the hippocampus that should block out memories, which are not useful or needed. This can suppress food memories when you do not need to eat.


This means when you eat something delicious that is memorable such as a cake, ice cream or cheese sandwich the hippocampus gets rid of that memory. It eliminates the association between pleasure and that moment of eating.  You can then get on with your day and not think about food until you are hungry.


Should you see another bowl of ice cream or a slice of cake, it does not trigger a sudden, irresistible urge to eat more.  This means that cravings are not inevitable…


In fact, when you have eaten and are full, you should not get food cravings at all. This is how our brains have evolved!  But in some parts of the world, brains are changing…and it is all down to the Western diet


Researchers at Macquarie University in Australia have discovered that when we eat a diet rich in sugar and fat (and low in fruit, vegetable and fibre) we begin to alter the behaviour of the hippocampus. It stops doing its job properly by suppressing those little lovely food memories. This is BAD news.


Now when we see sugary, high fat foods, that sweet memory trigger is activated in our brains…. and we feel the urge to eat everything, even when we are full and do not need to eat.  It’ becomes a vicious cycle…


The more sugary, fatty treats we eat… the more our brains change… the less we are able to resist sugary, fatty treats.  This is just what you do not need if you want to get into that   new tight fitting dress that makes you look slim.  


But we can look at this in a more positive way. This might actually be encouraging for people who struggle with weight control.


It means that desiring delicious fatty, sugary food is not something you do because you are weak, stupid or a bad person… or because the food has some magical irresistible property.  It is because your brain has been hotwired and altered by your long-term food intake. Fasting turns self-control into an ingrained habit, training your brain to become more resistant to temptation.


Now is the time you must decide if you can have your cake and eat it? I am off to eat two cream eclairs and I will think my bran getting fat - when I have eaten them…


 My thanks to Rich Sampson who came up with this brain wave story – happy eating.




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