It’s a term that’s get bandied around a great deal but what does it feel like, is it the same for everyone, is there anything we can do to avoid it?
If you’re one of the few people that has never experienced it or perhaps recognised it let's discuss some of the common symptoms. Well, I’ve been a long-time believer that We (as humans) are genetically geared to be lean and strong but also adept and cognitively alert. If this was not the case then it’s safe to say we would not have endured millions of years of evolution. Therefore, it’s not a blind leap to put the causal link between western lifestyle and brain fog.
In other words our hunter/gatherer ancestors would not have suffered from brain fog. What we eat, has an profound affect on how we feel but also on the genes that are turned on or off (expressed) – this notion of epigenetics suggested that with all lifestyle choices is an opportunity to amplify health and longevity or not. The western diet is entrenched in the view that our brains require carbohydrates to function and without it our ability to think and create would grind to a halt.
This is not the case – our brains can thrive on ketones as well– a fuel source derived from burning fat as a primary fuel source. The problem with stoking the furnace with carbohydrates is that your body will have to shunt the glucose (what carbs are converted to) into cells for energy – either immediately or for a later date.
This leads to a yo-yo’ing of blood/sugar - as carbs are ingested and blood glucose is raised – the pancreas is signalled to release insulin to shuttle glucose from the blood into cells. This process is all very natural and necessary but it can leave us experiencing a ‘high’ and a ‘low’ from elevated blood/sugar to low blood/sugar levels, the severity of this polarity is due to a number of factors.
As the ‘low’ kicks in you’ll experience symptoms such as light-headedness, loss of concentration, lack of attention and hunger – this is when you’ll reach out for another carbo snack/meal and the whole cycle is repeated.