Too much processed food can ruin your brain: Study

Throwing a frozen dinner in the microwave may be time efficient, but it comes with a price, a new study indicates.

It can spoil your mind.

Over-consumption of processed foods has been blamed for many diseases, and now cognitive decline can be added to the list. A daily diet containing more than 20% junk can trigger cognitive decline, the authors of a study presented Monday at the 2022 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in San Diego said.

That mouth-watering array of sauces, soups, frozen pizza, fries, sausages, burgers, hot dogs, processed pastries, cakes, ice cream, and candy we love to chew on can kill us prematurely – or less less can compromise our mind.

As if obesity, vascular problems, diabetes and an increased risk of cancer weren’t enough, the study found an association between high consumption of processed foods and impairment of executive functioning of the brain — the area that processes information and takes decisions.

More than 10,000 people were studied over 10 years in Brazil, where ultraprocessed foods account for 25 to 30% of total caloric intake. Before and after the study, middle-aged and older participants were given cognitive tests and asked about their diet.

Industrially manufactured foods containing oils, fats, sugars, starches, protein isolates and additives such as flavorings, colourings, emulsifiers and other substances were included in the filthy definition.

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At the end of the study, men and women who ate the most amount of ultraprocessed foods showed a 28% faster rate of global cognitive decline and a 25% faster decline in executive function than those who ate the least processed food. ,

“Independent of the amount of calories, independent of the amount of healthy food you try to eat, ultra-processed food is not good for your cognition,” said study co-author Dr. Claudia Sumoto, an assistant professor in the Department of Geriatrics. at the University of Sao Paulo Medical School, to NBC News, “I know sometimes it’s easier to open a package and throw it in the microwave, but in the long run it’s going to cost you a few years of life.”

Researchers who were not involved in the study said its results were tracked along with other findings.

Rudy Tanzi, Professor of Neurology at Harvard, said, “While further study and replication are needed, the new results are quite compelling and suggest the important role proper nutrition can play in preserving and promoting brain health and reducing the risk of brain diseases. insist on.” Director of the Medical School and Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and not part of the study, pointed out CNN,

“The data is incredibly strong that foods that are not part of the Mediterranean diet – foods high in fat and sugar, and we can now add foods that are highly processed to this list – are absolutely, positively cognitive. contribute to the risk of falls and eventually dementia,” Boston University neurology professor Andrew Budson, who was not involved in the research, told NBC News.

Also, it is a correlation, not a proof of cause and effect, noted one Alzheimer’s expert.

“The increase in the availability and consumption of fast, processed and ultra-processed foods is due to a number of socioeconomic factors, including less access to healthy foods, less time to prepare foods from scratch, and less access to whole food options. Incapacity is involved,” Percy Griffin, director of scientific engagement for the Alzheimer’s Association, said in a statement obtained by NBC News. “It’s troubling but not surprising to see new data showing that these foods can significantly accelerate cognitive decline.”

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