In the recent years, low-carb and high-protein diets are ruling the roost, as they are considered healthy and perfect for weight loss. However, this study published in the Journal Cell Reports is stating something different. The team of researchers for this study reported that there are substantial improvements to overall health and brain health in mice that were fed low-protein and high-carbohydrate diets. The findings contributed to a growing debate as to role food plays in brain health; particularly neurological diseases like dementia and Parkinson’s. The study also reported the benefits of eating a high-carbohydrate diet and how it impacts your overall health, especially brain health. Let’s look at what the study has to say.
The research showed for the first time how unrestricted low-protein, high-carb diet have protective benefits to the brain. The researchers claimed that they have close to 100 years of quality research highlighting the benefits of calorie restriction as the most powerful diet to improve brain health and delay the onset of neurodegenerative disease in rodents. However, the majority of people have a hard time restricting calories, especially in Western societies where food is so freely available.
The researchers say that low-protein and high-carbohydrate diets are not a new fad. Numerous cultures including people in Japan and many parts of the Mediterranean have long observed this mix. The traditional diet in Okinawa in Japan is around nine percent protein, with sources including lean fish, soy and plants. In fact, one of their main sources is of carbohydrate is sweet potato.
For the current study, the team of researchers fed the mice complex carbohydrates derived from starch, and casein protein that is found in cheese and milk. To assess the brain benefits of the diet, the researchers focused on the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory. It is said that hippocampus is generally the first part of the brain to deteriorate with neurodegenerative diseases. However, the low-protein and high-carbohydrate diet appeared to promote hippocampus health in the mice, as compared to those who were on a low-calorie diet.
While the study shows that low-protein and high-carbohydrate diet may be good for overall health and brain health, the study was conducted on mice and still needs to be conducted on humans. If you wish to follow this diet, make sure you have consulted your doctor, dietitian or a nutritionist, who will guide you better.