How food affects your mood
IF YOU are about to enter a difficult negotiation you might want to eat an extra slice of toast for breakfast.
Researchers found those who have eaten plenty of bread, cereal or other carbohydrates are less likely to accept a bad deal – and would rather walk away – than those who eat breakfasts lower in carbs and higher in protein.
In an attempt to explain why food can affect our mood, researchers measured chemicals in the blood of participants who ate low-carb and high-carb breakfasts.
They found those who had eaten more carbs at the beginning of the day had higher levels of dopamine, the brain’s “reward” chemical that can produce feelings of happiness. This may allow them to walk away from a bad deal because they are confident they will be rewarded at a later time.
By contrast, low levels of dopamine may mean they would feel a need to take anything they can get straight away – even if there was the possibility of a better offer in future.
The researchers from Luebeck University in Germany, fed participants controlled breakfasts – one with 80% carbohydrates, 10% protein and 10% fat; and the other with 50% carbs, 25% protein and 25% fat. Both breakfasts amounted to 850 calories.
In the controlled experiment, 69% of those on the high-carb diet rejected the bad deal, compared with 60% on the low-carb diet.