Ice cream, hot dogs and other ultraprocessed foods linked to mental decline

by Sandee LaMotte | CNN

A new study showed that eating ultraprocessed foods that account for more than 20% of your daily caloric intake each day could put you on a path to cognitive decline.

We all know that eating ultraprocessed foods that make our lives easier – such as prepackaged soups, sauces, frozen pizza and ready-to-eat meals – is not good for our health. Nor is eating all the pleasure foods we love so much: hot dogs, sausages, burgers, french fries, soda, cookies, cakes, candies, donuts and ice cream, just to name a few.

Studies have shown they can increase our risk obesity, heart and circulation problems, diabetes And cancer. they can also shorten our lives,

Now, a new study has shown that eating more ultraprocessed foods may contribute to overall cognitive decline, which involves areas of the brain involved in executive functioning — the ability to process information and make decisions.

In fact, men and women who ate the most ultraprocessed foods had a 28% faster rate of global cognitive decline and a 25% faster decline in executive function than those who ate the least processed food, the study found. Gone.

“While further study and replication is needed, the new results are quite compelling and emphasize the important role for proper nutrition in preserving and promoting brain health and, as we get older, the risk of brain diseases. ,” said Rudy Tanzi, professor of neurology. Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He was not involved in the study.

Tanzi, who wrote about his book “Ultraprocessed Foods”Healing Self: A revolutionary new plan to supercharge your immunity and stay healthy for a lifetimeThe main problem with ultraprocessed foods is that “they’re usually very high in sugar, salt, and fat, all of which promote systemic inflammation, perhaps the biggest threat to healthy aging in the body and brain.”

“Meanwhile, since they’re convenient as a quick meal, they replace eating foods high in plant fiber that’s important for maintaining the health and balance of the billions of bacteria in your gut microbiome,” he said. , “which is particularly important for brain health and reducing the risk of age-related brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.”

It’s Not Too Many Calories

study, presented Monday 2022 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference In San Diego, more than 10,000 Brazilians followed for 10 years. More than half of the study participants were female, white or college educated, while the average age was 51.

Cognitive tests, which included immediate and delayed word recall, word recognition and verbal fluency, were performed at the beginning and end of the study, and participants were asked about their diet.

“In Brazil, ultraprocessed foods make up 25% to 30% of total caloric intake. We have McDonald’s, Burger King and we eat a lot of chocolate and white bread. It’s not much different, unfortunately, from many other Westerns. From countries,” said co-author Dr. Claudia Sumoto said.

“Twenty-eight percent of the calories consumed by United States citizens, 56.8% of the calories consumed by British citizens, and 48% of the calories consumed by Canadians come from ultraprocessed foods,” Sumoto said.

Ultraprocessed foods, according to the study, are defined as “industrial formulations of foods (oils, fats, sugars, starches, and protein isolates) that contain little or no whole food ingredients and are usually flavored, Contains dyes, emulsifiers and other cosmetic additives.” ,

Study co-author Natalia Gonsalves said, “People who consumed more than 20% of their daily calories from processed foods had a 28% faster decline in global cognition and executive function than those who ate less than 20%.” There was a sharp 25% drop in performance.” researcher in the Department of Pathology at the University of So Paulo Medical School.

For a person who eats 2,000 calories a day, 20% would equate to 400 or more calories – for comparison, a small order of fries And regular cheeseburger McDonald’s has a total of 530 calories.

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