Eat­ing carbs may have its re­wards

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS -

LON­DON: If you are about to en­ter a dif­fi­cult ne­go­ti­a­tion, you might want to eat an ex­tra slice of toast for break­fast.

Re­searchers found that those who had eaten plenty of bread, ce­real or other car­bo­hy­drates were less likely to ac­cept a bad deal – and would rather walk away – than those who ate break­fasts lower in carbs and higher in pro­tein.

In an at­tempt to ex­plain why food could af­fect our mood, they mea­sured chem­i­cals in the blood of par­tic­i­pants who ate low-carb and high-carb break­fasts.

They found that those who had eaten more carbs at the be­gin­ning of the day had higher lev­els of dopamine, the brain’s “re­ward” chem­i­cal which can pro­duce feel­ings of hap­pi­ness. This may al­low them to walk away from a bad deal be­cause they were con­fi­dent they would be re­warded at a later time.

By con­trast, low lev­els of dopamine may mean they would feel the need to take any­thing they could get im­me­di­ately – even if there was the pos­si­bil­ity of a bet­ter of­fer in fu­ture.

The re­searchers from Lue­beck Univer­sity, Ger­many, asked par­tic­i­pants to take part in a com­puter game in which they were of­fered a share of a sum of money by another player. The re­sults showed the nu­tri­ent make-up of our food acutely in­flu­ences our so­cial de­ci­sions.

“Our re­sults shed new light on the strik­ing rel­e­vance of food in­take. This opens new per­spec­tives on anti-so­cial be­hav­iour as well as the global prob­lem of poor nu­tri­tion,” they said. – Daily Mail

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