Ever wondered why you crave for junk food when tired?

Whenever we are tired, instead of opting for a healthier option such as a fruit, most of us prefer that favourite chocolate bar or packet of biscuits. Ever wondered why?
Researchers at Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University in Chicago recently presented their results of a study looking into the effects of sleep deprivation upon high-calorific food consumption at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s annual meeting in San Francisco, reports Science News.
Participants were allocated different amounts of sleep, eight hours or four hours, and then their reaction to smells of high-calorific foods were tested.
Participants slept for both lengths of time, separated by a week of normal sleep. On the day after they either had full or partial sleep, participants rated the pleasantness and intensity of sweet and savoury high-calorific food smells such as crisps and cinnamon rolls. They were then asked to rate the smell of non-foods like fir trees. Researchers found that those who were sleep-deprived had “specifically enhanced” brain activity to the food smells compared to when they had a good night’s sleep. The experiment supports the long-held association between sleep deprivation and excessive eating and weight gain.
So, if you want to stop reaching for the chocolate every day, perhaps a few extra hours sleep is all you need.Researchers from Nutritional Strategies Inc recently conducted a study on adults aged 19 and above in the United States. And the data collected between 2001 and 2012 from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) revealed that pasta indeed has its fair share of health benefits. It was found that people who consumed pasta had a greater intake of vitamins and minerals including folate, iron, magnesium and dietary fibre. On the other hand, the past eaters showed lower intakes of saturated fat and added sugar.
Doesn’t that give your diet a whole new perspective? Confirming the effects of pasta on health, Nidhi Sawhney, an expert nutritionist based in Delhi, says, “Pasta is not bad for health. In fact, it is a rich source of iron, a big brain booster. While pasta makes you feel full, it may also induce weight loss. There are two types of carbohydrates–good and bad. Foods with low glycemic index give energy at intervals. Pasta is one such food that makes you feel energetic in bursts.”
She adds that pasta also helps maintain good heart health. ”It is low on cholesterol and sodium, which is why it is good for heart patients too.” So, what’s cooking for dinner tonight?

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