Eating carbs may have its rewards
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