Food for Thought: Has Your Diet Damaged Your Brain

As a health educator and coach I hear it all the time “no matter how hard I try I just can’t lose weight” or “I lost weight but gained it back plus more.”  According to a recent report on Aug. 21, Forbes, Dr. Louis Aronne, an obesity expert and director of the Comprehensive Weight-Control Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, says that years of eating a diet that is high in fat and simple carbohydrates can damage the hypothalamus, an area of the brain that organizes and controls hunger, appetite, and food intake and regulates metabolism, thus making it extremely difficult for some people to lose weight.

“The evidence is quite convincing: eating fattening foods causes inflammatory cells to go into the hypothalamus,” explains Aronne. “This overloads the neurons and causes neurological damage.”

To put it simply, when the hypothalamus is “damaged,” you crave food more, but now the food is unfulfilling, so you end up never feeling satisfied with the foods you eat. As a result, you gradually start eating more and more to try to compensate for whatever you believe is lacking!

The good news is that you can reverse the hypothalamic damage caused by years of poor food choices by following a diet of healthy fats, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables and whole grains. “If less fatty food comes in, it reduces the rate of damage,” says Aronne.

If your hypothalamus has been damaged it is going take some time to heal so be patient and do your best to maintain a healthy diet and try not to lose weight too quickly.



Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia – Hypothalamic Dysfunction


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