We all know that eating poorly can affect weight gain and even the health of your skin. But do you know the effects of your diet on memory?

Memory loss has been tied to choices in diet, according to a recent Australian lab study. The study, published in the journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity, discussed the effects of sugar-laden diets on the memory of rats.

The study used three groups of rats who were given different diets for an entire week. The first group was given nothing but sugar-water. The second group was given junk food, and the third was fed a healthy diet. Of the three groups, the first group experienced slight weight gain, but they also experienced serious memory loss. The group of rats eating junk food experienced moderate weight gain and significant memory loss. The third group (as we’d expect), had no weight gain or problems in memory.

Why did this happen? As it turns out, an overabundance of sugary foods causes the hypothalamus to become inflamed — the part of the brain that controls memory. Whether it's a sugary soda or chocolate cupcakes, the effect on memory is profound. Not only that, but it can take up to three weeks to reverse the damage done in just one week of poor eating. 

So what should we do about this new finding? Our diet affects our memory, more than previously realized. Memories are precious; they’re part of what makes our personality unique. Stick to a high concentration of vegetables and fruits, and save the sweets for special occasions, if at all.