Eating stodge makes you sluggish

Complaints of excessive daytime sleepiness would have most doctors reaching for their referral pad to send the patient to the nearest sleep lab. However Australian research suggests another, more readily modifiable lifestyle factor might be to blame.

According to a large-scale epidemiological study, researchers from Flinders University determined a high intake of saturated fats and carbohydrates increases the risk of excessive daytime sleepiness.

And it’s not simply because a diet of hot chips and thickshakes will cause weight gain, and obesity is a well-known risk factor for sleepiness. In this study, they compared fats, carbohydrates and protein calorie for calorie – so it wasn’t how much you ate, or how energy-dense your food was – it was, in fact, the type of food you ate.

The study found that increasing the proportion of energy intake to be from saturated fat was positively associated with excessive daytime sleepiness, with carbohydrates having a similar but less pronounced effect.

Conversely, increasing the proportion of energy intake coming from protein was inversely associated with excessive daytime sleepiness.

“After adjusting for potential confounders, substituting 5% energy intake from protein with ...

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