If most of your daily meals comprise foods that come in a packet, it is time to change your ways. A recent study has revealed that eating ultra-processed foods is linked to cognitive decline.
Your diet is linked with your overall well-being, including your cognitive health. Therefore, it is crucial to eat healthy not just to stay in the right shape but for your brain too.
What is a cognitive decline? It is a reduction in one or more cognitive abilities, such as memory, awareness, judgment, and mental acuity, across the adult lifespan. The signs of cognitive decline are mostly to do with forgetting dates or events, or recent conversations; or struggling with a sense of direction; losing the ability to organise tasks; or feeling overwhelmed by planning or making decisions.
Now, the recent study: The study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in San Diego examined more than 10,000 middle-aged and older adults from Brazil for 6 to 10 years. The cognitive testing for the study included ability to recall words, verbal fluency and word recognition.
It has revealed that if more than 20% of your daily calorie intake consists of ultra-processed foods, then you are heading towards a cognitive decline.
In further details, the study has shared that these foods affect one’s cognitive health, including your brain’s ability to process information and make decisions.
The big question now - what foods to not eat? Ultra-processed foods include fried snacks, ice cream, soda, hot dogs, processed meats, cookies, white bread, instant noodles, frozen pizza, packed soups, sauces and other ready-to-eat foods.
This is not the first such study: Many worldwide studies have previously focused on the importance of eating healthy. They have highlighted how consumption of highly processed foods puts an individual at a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension and a plethora of other problems.
In simple words: Heavily processed foods are loaded with unhealthy amounts of sodium, fats and sugar. These foods are high in unhealthy calories with zero or minimum nutrients.
Therefore, limiting the consumption of highly processed foods as much as possible should be one's priority while formulating a diet plan. High dependency on such foods is linked to both direct and indirect health issues. One of the biggest side-effects is obesity, which alone is the root cause of endless health issues.
If sticking to a desired weight wasn't enough, now you have many more reasons to follow a healthy diet in the long run.