Cognitive decline linked to ultraprocessed food, study finds
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of CNN
Posted: September 6th, 2022
Eating ultraprocessed foods for more than 20% of your daily calorie intake every day could set you on the road to cognitive decline, a new study revealed. "Fifty-eight percent of the calories consumed by United States citizens ... come from ultraprocessed foods," [Dr. Claudia] Suemoto said. Studies have found they can raise our risk of obesity, heart and circulation problems, diabetes and cancer. In fact, men and women who ate the most ultraprocessed foods had a 28% faster rate of global cognitive decline and a 25% faster rate of executive function decline compared with people who ate the least amount of overly processed food, the study found. "The new results are quite compelling and emphasize the critical role for proper nutrition in preserving and promoting brain health and reducing risk for brain diseases as we get older," said Rudy Tanzi, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and director of the genetics and aging research unit at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Tanzi said the key problem with ultraprocessed foods is that they are usually very high in sugar, salt and fat, all of which promote systemic inflammation, perhaps the most major threat to healthy aging in the body and brain. "They also replace eating food that is high in plant fiber that is important for maintaining the health and balance of the trillions of bacteria in your gut microbiome," he added, "which is particularly important for brain health and reducing risk of age-related brain diseases like Alzheimer's disease."
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