How Important is Diet to Academic Achievement?

For the longest time in the United States and places like Canada, Australia and New Zealand, public school children’s diets revolve primarily around the standard diet.

How Important is Diet to Academic Achievement?

The standard diet is composed primarily of carbohydrates, a little bit of protein, and almost minimal amounts of fat. This was the accepted gospel of public school dietary policy for decades.

Interestingly enough, starting in the 1980’s, a rising epidemic of childhood obesity started breaking out in certain parts of the United States. Well, a lot of people originally thought that this was a regional phenomenon. They thought that this had something to do with local proximity to certain food sources or certain food policies that are geographic or regional in nature.

It turns out that this is a global phenomenon because it broke out in Canada, South America, Australia and New Zealand, and all points in between. It cuts across cultural lines. It’s not a reflection of class because both poor and well-off school districts exhibited the same alarming levels of childhood obesity. What’s going on?

Well, it turns out that the standard American diet or the standard western diet, with its heavy emphasis on carbohydrates, when paired with a sedentary lifestyle, leads to alarming levels of obesity.

If that were only the case, it would be tragic enough, but there is another consequence of this that should alarm parents from all over the world. The alarming aspect is that when a person eats a high carb diet, it impairs cognitive function. The reason for this is that the carbohydrate molecule actually has many different molecular absorption points for water.

Now, you may be thinking that this is some sort of empty detail and it’s probably best left for trivia shows, but this biochemical feature actually has a tremendous impact. When your system is flooded with a molecule that soaks up water, your system is inflamed.

In other words, you’re bloated internally. You may not look bloated externally, but your blood vessels are under a tremendous amount of pressure. This is why a lot of people who adopt a low carb, high fat diet report significant drops in their blood pressure. This is not an accident.

People who eat a lot of sugar or a lot of heavily processed starchy foods are generally exhibiting signs of hypertension. Cut out the carbs and you can see that blood pressure drop. In fact, a lot of people who adopt a keto diet often quickly get off their hypertension medication. This, then, in turn, triggers improvements in cognitive function because your brain has the proper blood flow, it is less inflamed and, more importantly, it can build more fat connections.

This cannot be emphasized enough because the brain is an organ made almost exclusively of fat. It needs fat for nerve coatings, it needs fat for proper neurotransmitter communications, and it needs fat for proper maintenance. And if you adopt a high carb diet, you are not eating enough fat to maintain your brain infrastructure and this leads to reduced cognitive performance.

Keep in mind that diet is crucial to proper cognitive operations, which in turn directly impact academic achievement.

If you want your personal focus to be extended or you want a higher level of mental and intellectual clarity and acuity, you need to look into your diet. This is why this website recommends to all Church of England primary school institutions to switch to a higher fat, lower carb meal plan.