News You Can Use: Food Keeps Your Brain Lean, and Neat Plates Means Healthy Food

by Charles Platkin, PhD

News You Can Use: Food Keeps Your Lean, and Neat Plates Means

Feed the Brain, Resist High-Calorie Junk Food

According to a study led by researchers at Yale University and the University of Southern California, and appearing in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, when “glucose levels drop, an area of the brain known to regulate emotions and impulses loses the ability to dampen desire for high-calorie food. … When glucose levels drop, an area of the brain called the hypothalamus senses the change. Other regions called the insula and striatum associated with reward are activated, inducing a desire to eat.” And when glucose is lowered, the prefrontal cortex loses its ability to put the brakes on increasingly urgent signals to eat generated in the striatum. This weakened response was particularly striking in the obese when shown high-calorie foods.

The study authors believe that if you maintain glucose levels (e.g., by consuming 100 percent whole-grain foods), you will be more likely to have the ability to resist unhealthy foods.

Increase Your Likelihood of Eating Healthy Foods by Keeping a

Two studies by researchers at Montclair State University appearing in the journal Appetite found that the arrangement of food on a plate has a positive impact on liking the flavor of the food. Food that is neatly arranged on the plate is liked more than the same food presented in a messy manner. According to the researchers, “Neatness of the food presentation increases liking for the taste of the food by suggesting greater care on the part of the preparer.”

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