Two interesting pieces of research were in the news this week that I wanted to share.... First off, "sleep deprivation is linked to junk food cravings"! Researchers at UC Berkeley (where I got my nutrition degree-yay!) just released their study which showed that participants were more inclined to choose unhealthy snack and junk food when they were sleep deprived. Less healthy foods were more desirable after a lack of sleep. In addition to observing these eating behavior changes, participants also underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) first after a normal night’s sleep and next, after a sleepless night. Researchers found " impaired activity in the sleep-deprived brain’s frontal lobe, which governs complex decision-making, but increased activity in deeper brain centers that respond to rewards." So they were actually able to see changes in the brain to explain the poor food choices!You can read a summary of the study HERE and an abstract of the study itself is located HERE.
Another study released in the Journal of Obesity has shown that waking up and eating a larger breakfast (even as much as 700 calories), a modest lunch a smaller dinner promotes weight loss and may even reduce risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Two groups of women were each assigned to eat a 1400 calorie diet- the big breakfast group ate 700 calories at breakfast, 500 at lunch and 200 at dinner while the big dinner group ate 200 calories at breakfast, 500 at lunch and 700 at dinner. The result? The women from the big breakfast group lost more weight and had larger decreases in insulin, glucose and triglyceride levels than the women from the big dinner group. Check out a summary of the research HERE and the study's journal abstract HERE.
An for some healthy morning ideas to start the day out right, check out my Breakfast section!