Tuesday 10 June 2014

What’s Lurking in Your Lunchbox?

Taking your own food to work is a great idea. Having your own food at hand means you don’t have to rely on the low quality foods on offer in most coffee shops and cafes. The rubbish foods from these types of eateries also tend to Costa fortune. Of course, the strategy of preparing your own lunch is dependent on your putting something in your lunchbox that isn’t unhealthy. Cakes are a particularly poor choice because of the high sugar content. Not only does sugar make you fat and is a driver of disease, it will also spoil your concentration and make it harder for you to work. The reason for this is because refined carbohydrates such as are present in cakes are detrimental to stable blood sugar levels, which causes tiredness due to changes in blood levels of particular amino acids.
Following consumption of sugary foods, blood sugar rises quickly and peaks too high, and this causes excessive insulin release. As insulin rises, it pushes branched chain amino acids into skeletal muscle, but leaves tryptophan in the blood. Under normal circumstances the branched chain amino acids compete with tryptophan for access to the brain across the blood brain barrier. However, as the blood levels of branched chain amino acids fall, more tryptophan enters the brain. This is problematic because tryptophan is converted to serotonin and then melatonin, the latter being an inducer of sleep. In addition, the sugar in cakes stimulates the brain to release neuropeptide y, and this increases hunger making it more likely you will eat more cake.

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