Food For Thought

A perfectly good Economist article about food and brain function includes the following:

Many studies suggest that diets which are rich in trans- and saturated fatty acids, such as those containing a lot of deep-fried foods and butter, have bad effects on cognition. Rodents put on such diets show declines in cognitive performance within weeks.

Whereas I found butter improved my cognitive performance within a day. And pork fat improved my sleep within a day. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if foods deep-fried in plant oils, such as corn oil, are bad for the brain.

6 Replies to “Food For Thought”

  1. clearly they aren’t differentiating between kinds of oils, at least in that part of the report–the category “bad oil” is enough for them.

  2. feeding rats diets high in substances they normally dont eat (saturated fats and industrial vegetable oils) surely is a poor predictor of their effects on humans, even more so when “fat” is far too general of a term, testing “fats” effect on any animal is like testing “liquids” effects, the variance between natural saturated fats and omega-6 rich vegetable oils or even coconut oil demand separate streams of data. which likely would yeild vastly different results.

  3. American nutrition researchers were stupid enough in the old days to think that transfats and saturated fats were the same thing. Thus when they wanted to test the effects of saturated fats they substituted transfats as they were cheaper. Then they reported that saturated fats will kill you. The difference is that transfats will kill you, saturated fats are necessary for life. Most American nutrition researchers remain just as stupid today.

    Journalists come from the same dead brain pool as nutrition researchers. Thus you saw the report that you did. However, you did arrive at a rule that will serve mankind forever. That is:

    Never, ever believe any nutrition information that you read in the mainstream media.

  4. They do that on purpose, you know. It’s so common at this point it’s eye-rolling. “We fed rats bacon and twinkies and they were less healthy. So don’t eat meat!” Much research is little more than an attempt to ‘buy’ free advertising — mass media, worldwide, with the heft of authority — by deliberately designing things to make your friend (or enemy) substance look good (or bad) and then sending our press releases about the paper. If the study doesn’t support that, you can mess with numbers until you find *something* the study can say. If you still can’t, you can just write an abstract that appears to say nearly the opposite so it still looks like what you want it to say. The more I appreciate science, the less I appreciate most of what I read.

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