Republished with permission from Musely an Evio Community Partner
According to new research, there's one thing that can get even the healthiest eaters to cheat on their diets: a box of donuts. Or more specifically, calorie-dense foods.
In a study done by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, 18 participants were asked to classify a set of symbols that had no connection to food at all. At some point during the test, a picture of food would randomly flash on the screen they were working on. Interestingly, when the participants were shown a photo of an energy-dense food - such as a donut, candy bar, etc. - they were much more easily distracted than when they were shown either nonfood objects or low-calorie snacks.
"This suggests that participants rapidly and implicitly assessed the nutritional value of the distractor images presented to them, even when they were entirely irrelevant," explains study author Corbin Cunningham. "Our results also provide strong evidence for distraction by foods that have a higher energy density, even when they are entirely irrelevant to a task."
So why did eating a donut eliminate the attention-capturing power of energy-dense food? "The answer has to do with a person's motivational state," says researcher Howard Egeth. "Recent research has shown that when an ordinarily rewarding stimulus such as chocolate is devalued, attention is no longer oriented towards this reward-associated stimulus."
So if you're easily distracted and have a deadline to meet, make sure to keep those high-calorie, super-distracting (and equally delicious) foods as far away as possible. You'll be a whole lot more productive, and your body will thank you for keeping your blood sugar in check.