Researchers found that those who have eaten plenty of bread, cereal or other carbohydrates are less likely to accept a bad deal - and would rather walk away - than those who eat breakfasts lower in carbs and higher in protein. To explain why food can affect our mood, researchers measured chemicals in the blood of participants who ate low-carb and high-carb breakfasts.
They found those who had eaten more carbs at the beginning of the day had higher levels of dopamine, the brain’s “reward” chemical which can produce feelings of happiness.
This may allow them to walk away from a bad deal because they are confident they will be rewarded at a later time, the study suggests.
By contrast, low levels of dopamine may mean they would feel a need to take anything they can get straight away - even if there was the possibility of a better offer in future.
The researchers from Luebeck University, northern Germany, asked participants to record what they had for breakfast and then take part in a computer game where they were offered a share of a sum of money by another player.
The deal was less than 50:50, meaning that the player offering kept much more of the sum.
The recipient had two options - accept the unfair split, keeping the smaller amount of cash, or reject it, receiving nothing. The researchers found 53% of the high-carb group decided to reject unfair offers, compared with 24% of subjects who had eaten a low-carb breakfast.
The authors said the results showed the nutrient make-up of our food - acutely influences our social decisions. - Daily Mail