Tucking into a breakfast of buttermilk pancakes and maple syrup, or a great bowl of white pasta for lunch, not only sends your blood sugar soaring–and then, suddenly, plummeting. Four hours after you’ve put down your fork, such a meal makes you hungrier than if you’d eaten one with more protein and fiber and fewer carbohydrates, a new study finds.
The study also demonstrates that four hours later, the echo of that meal activates regions of the brain associated with craving and reward seeking more powerfully than does a meal with a lower “glycemic load.”
The result: At your next opportunity to eat, you’ll not only be hungrier; you’ll be looking for more of the same.
The study, conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, was published this week in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The team was led by Dr. David S. Ludwig, director of Boston Children’s Hospital Obesity Prevention Center and author of Ending the Food Fight: Guide Your Child to a Healthy Weight in a Fast Food/Fake Food World.
And what’s the result of repeating this cycle meal after meal? The Harvard researchers surmise that the striatum, a key node in the brain’s reward circuitry, may lose its sensitivity to the neurotransmitter dopamine, increasing a person’s drive to eat high-carb foods and disrupting his or her ability to control that impulse.
Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/science/sciencenow/la-sci-high-carbohydrate-hunger-20130627,0,1772900.story
Eating a meal with a high glycemic load sends blood glucose levels high, boosts hunger, and piques a desire for more, says a new study. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)