Thursday, April 23, 2009

Reduced Calorie Diets Make you Smarter

Wednesday was Earth Day! And, in Crazy California style, The LA Times decides that that's a good time to correlate obesity with global warming. Wow. Talk about ridiculous. Now, I'm all in favor of blaming high fat content foods, or for blaming high sugar content drinks on how 65% of America has become overweight, but actually blaming fat people for a global problem is simply nonsense.

Plus, with so many positive things to emphasis about regular exercise and healthy eating, it's categorically absurd to write negatively about the lack of either.

Earth day or not, I did get out for a ride on Wednesday, and got a huge push, pull, and minor dose of suffering from a small handful of racers who adopted me on the way back home. Indeed, since most of your fitness grade is just showing up ... making the commitment to create time to exercise ... I was glad I did make time to mount the steed on Wednesday.

Because, it Apparently also Makes you Smarter!

A few years ago I blogged about how maintaining a healthy fitness regimen can help enhance your career. Last April, I wrote a few things about how organizations can boost morale and improve productivity with a corporate fitness culture.

But what the National Academy of Sciences published in January shows is that not only does being fit help you look more capable and smarter (Cialdini, Influence), but the reduced calories in an associated diet may actually help you be smarter.

Indeed, women aged 50 to 80 improved their memory scores by 20% when their calories were reduced by 30% according to this research. What's going on here? Well, what the German scholars found was that women with reduced calorie diets were linked to increase brain functionality. And, as the Journal of Medicine reported last week around sweetened beverages, the culprit turns out to be ... Insulin.

Allegedly, reduced calorie diets encourage a constant low level of stress within the body's cellular tissues that makes the body more sensitive to insulin.

Moderately reduced calorie stress, the researchers believe, encourages a positive insulin sensitivity similar to that of moderate exercise stress.

The exact opposite of insulin sensitivity, insulin resistance, is regularly blamed for diabetes and obesity. Additionally, experts contend that insulin resistance "... may help explain why obesity and type 2 diabetes have been linked to worse mental performance and a greater risk of Alzheimer's disease."

But if all this chemistry is creating confusion, just remember, as CNN reported " ... adults who cut down on the amount of calories they consume get a two-for-one special: weight loss and better memory."

No comments: