There are two types of people. Those whose stomachs are closing stressful times and those who eat three times, especially when it comes to high-calorie foodsrich in sugars and fats. You probably identify with one of these two types; but let’s be honest: there are many more of the latter. And in fact, there is an explanation for this, according to a new study published by scientists from Garvan Institute for Medical Research (Australia).

These researchers analyzed in mice what happens in their brains on three occasions. When they are stressed after seasonal feeding high-calorie foods when they eat the same food but are not stressed and when they are stressed after the season with low calorie diet.

His goal was to explore why we have more cravings for high-calorie foods during times of stress, but also check to see if the previous diet has affected you in any way. That is, if I give the body the sugar that it supposedly asks for, will it be enough or will I need more and more? The answer, from what they saw in mice, is that if the same thing happened to us, we would need more and more. Many, many more.

Stress and fat don’t get along well

This study consisted of two parts. First, the brain activity of mice treated with short-term high-fat diet. Half were allowed to go about their business in peace, while the others were stressed out. Thus, it was seen that the key difference was in a region of the brain called lateral horn.

Among other functions, it is responsible for suppress reward signals brain as soon as they are considered satisfied. In mice not exposed to stress, the gabenula functioned normally. However, in those exposed to stress, it was found that reduced his activity. So when it was almost turned off, the reward systems continued to send out signals to keep the mice eating more and more.

It remained to be seen if the same would happen with another type of diet, so they moved on to the second part of the experiment.

At the same time, mice were given choose between two drinksone is made up of just water and the other is made up of water mixed with an artificial sweetener called sucralose. Initially, it was tested on the same groups of mice. That is, both adhered to a diet rich in fats, but some were stressed, while others were not. It was clear that the stress they preferred sweetened waterand the calmest preferred only water.

This time, a third group has been added to the equation. The one in which the mice were on a normal diet before the stress. They have not been found to prefer sweetened water. Consequently, not only did the stress make them want more candy, but combination of stress and malnutrition.

The study was conducted on mice, but it can be extrapolated to humans. Photo by Sandy Millar on Unsplash

food is needed

When we are under stress, our body spends a lot of energy. In addition, what is known as “fight or flight” may begin, a process in which we unconsciously prepare to run from or face a threat. It would also mean wasting energy, so it makes sense that the body asks us for an energy shot in the form of high-calorie food. There would be a punctual burst of pleasure prompting us to take just enough to cope with the stress, but then we would be stopped by a lateral habenula.

The problem arises when we previously had high calorie diet. If the results can be extrapolated to humans, this burst of pleasure will not be enough. We would need more and more, and it could already become something dangerous. It is expected that it can be extrapolated, since we have all experienced these sensations at some point.

Thus, this study demonstrates the importance healthy eating during stress. We may feel that this is the last thing the body asks us to do at such moments; but in the end, we will definitely thank him.

Source: Hiper Textual

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