A new study found that low carb diets can change the way you make decisions.
Its pretty much a proven fact that cutting carbs from your diet is one of the quickest ways to shed pounds. Anyone who has ever done this however, can tell you that it also comes with a slew of side effects, the most disturbing of which is changes to mood. This happens because carbohydrates are the brain’s main source of fuel, and disrupting that flow causes changes to mood-regulating hormones.
New research suggests however that low-carb diets can even change something as fundamental as the way you make decisions.
The study, published in PNAS, looked at the results of two experiments where 87 people were analyzed after eating low-carb or high-carb breakfasts. The participants were then asked to play a game where they paired up. The pair was given $20 and asked to split it unevenly, only actually receiving the money if they both agreed on the outcome. The research found that participants on a low carb, high protein diet were more likely to accept an uneven (and unfair) split (like $15/$5). The breakfast options were switched the next day, and the results were the same, with the low carb diet group more likely to accept an unfair deal.
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Researchers’ only explanation for this is that protein increases the amount of dopamine in the brain, so those people on low-carb, high protein diets feel better and are more likely to be easy going and tolerant.
Much more research needs to be done on this subject to establish an actual link, but for now it is definitely interesting to note that although low-carb, high-protein diets may make you more moody, they can also make you more easy-going as well.