A good diet is an important factor in maintaining health. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Matt MacGillivray
A new US study has suggested that the brain can be retrained to prefer healthy food over junk food.
In a new effort to improve the nation's diets, scientists at Tufts University scanned the addiction centers in the brains of a group of volunteers to identify the cravings associated with unhealthy food.
"We don't start out in life loving French fries and hating, for example, wholewheat pasta," said senior author and behavioral nutritionist Prof Susan B Roberts. "This conditioning happens over time in response to eating - repeatedly - what is out there in the toxic food environment."
As part of the study a number of participants were given a replacement diet that was high in fiber and protein while also being low in carbohydrates. One of the key factors during the trial was to prevent the volunteers from becoming hungry because it is believed to be hunger that tends to drive the cravings for unhealthy foodstuffs.
Using MRI brain scans to monitor their progress the researchers were able to successfully reverse the cravings in the study's participants so that by the end of the process they were actually craving the healthy food items instead of the unhealthy ones.
"There is much more research to be done here, involving many more participants, long-term follow-up and investigating more areas of the brain," said Prof Roberts.
Source: BBC News | Comments (16)
Brain, Food, Diet