Low-Carb Diets Make Us Dumb

white breadDuh. That's exactly how I feel after I go three days with no bread, pasta, potatoes or cereal. I get cranky, hungry, and my breath becomes metallic. Now researchers are saying low-carb diets dulls our memories, too.

Put simply: Low-carb diets may make us dumb. But luckily, this effect is only temporary.

Excuse me while I grab my favorite snack, a whole wheat soft tortilla.


Researchers at Tufts University found that when dieters stopped eating carbs, they performed worse on memory-based tasks than when they reduced calories alone. When they ate carbs again, dieters' memories returned.

They think it's because the brain uses glucose as fuel, but it can't store it. Carbs are broken down into glucose that reaches the brain in the blood stream. Atkins and other low-carb diets reduce the brain's source of energy, and cognitive abilities decline.

Brain function may decline the longer a person is on a low-carb diet say researchers. But brains go right back to normal when carbs are re-introduced.

I know I can't think straight when I've tried dieting, especially when I've eliminated all carbs. My brain works better, and I have more patience with my kids, when I get the right amount of protein, veggies and carbs each day--not too much and not too little. Most advice says that 30 to 60 percent of our daily caloric intake should be from carbohydrates. Good carbs are fruits, veggies and whole grains that are high in fiber.

Here are CafeMoms' opinons on low-carb diets from the Questions in the Diet & Fitness section. Have you been on Atkins and other low-carb diets? Did you like it?

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