Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - ART & MUSIC -

“The gen­eral view,” says Dr Briffa, “is we need car­bo­hy­drates be­cause we need glu­cose for brain fuel. That’s not strictly true. A lot of car­bo­hy­drates, in­clud­ing starchy carbs, are quite dis­rup­tive of blood sugar lev­els so you can have highs of blood sugar and then lows a cou­ple of hours later.” This has a short-term im­pact on brain func­tion, killing your con­cen­tra­tion and mo­ti­va­tion. “And with a lot of glu­cose in the sys­tem from all th­ese carbs, you make a lot of in­sulin, and we’ve got pretty good ev­i­dence that in­sulin re­sis­tance is a ma­jor un­der­ly­ing fac­tor in cog­ni­tive de­cline.”

Sand­wiches for break­fast, pasta for lunch and a pile of pota­toes in the even­ing is gen­er­ally not so good for brain health — both in the short term and long term. In­stead, choose the most nour­ish­ing carbs, and choose the ones that are not par­tic­u­larly dis­rup­tive to blood sugar. That re­ally means veg­eta­bles, ad­vises Dr Briffa. Add healthy whole­grains and legumes to bulk up your meals if needed.

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