How timely that the amazing Dr Mark Hyman releases this post just as I’m in the middle of the relaxation series.
Now that you have some pretty decent background knowledge about the various ways in which foods can influence how we feel and our decision making skills, have a read below to see tangible results of how foods affects kids’ mental wellbeing and cognition.
What we eat affects our thinking, mood, and behavior. Food has been linked to changes in behavior and violence. Consider the following research:
Junk food makes kids act violently — bullying, fighting — and sugar causes more psychiatric distress, including worry, depression, confusion, insomnia, anxiety, aggression, and feelings of worthlessness.
In the article “Impact of Nutrition on Social Decision Making,” scientists fed two groups different breakfasts. One group got a high carb breakfast, the other a high protein, low-carb breakfast. The high-carb group was more likely to engage in “social punishment” behavior such as negative comments and actions toward others in structured behavioral experiments. Now consider that most Americans eat dessert for breakfast, full of sugar and carbs — cereal, muffins, bagels, sugared coffees, pancakes, French toast, oatmeal. This does not make for a very nice society.
Those who consume high levels of refined oils (currently more than 10% of our diet and found in all ultra-processed foods) and low levels of omega-3 fats from fish have higher rates of depression, suicide, and homicide. Our consumption of these refined oils (mostly soybean oil) went up to 248% from 1970 to 2010.
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