Eating the wrong foods can negatively impact your cognitive abilities and even increase your risk of developing dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases that can affect your memory.
“The quality of your diet has been directly linked to the health and optimal functioning of your brain,” says Dr. MaryAnhthu Do, a neurologist affiliated with Community Hospital, Munster, IN, St. Catherine Hospital, East Chicago, IN and Community Stroke and Rehabilitation Center, Crown Point, IN. She outlines six types of foods that are more likely to cause dementia-related brain decline.
Steer clear of these foods that affect your brain!
1. Added sugar
There are several research studies and clinical trials that indicate a high sugar or artificial sweetener intake is directly linked to poor cognitive function. Baked goods, fruit juices, soda, ice cream and the majority of processed foods available on the market have high levels of added sugar.
2. Saturated fats
Some fats are good, like those which are found in avocados, almonds and wild-caught salmon, but the saturated fats found in animal and dairy products such as cheese and fast-food hamburgers, have been associated with poor memory.
3. Fried foods
Consuming too much fried food can increase your blood cholesterol levels. A JAMA study revealed that people who have high levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol and low levels of good (HDL) cholesterol are more likely to have a build-up of beta-amyloid proteins in their brain, which are indicators of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
4. Processed foods
These convenience foods, including processed meats are packed with preservatives, sugar, artificial sweeteners, sodium and other chemicals. Also, these foods are often stripped of nutrients. Certain studies have shown a direct link between the consumption of these foods and brain decline, especially as we age.
5. Simple carbs
Made with white flour, these carbs can cause blood sugar to spike and then crash. Anything made with flour should include “sprouted” or “stoneground” grains. Another option is whole wheat flour. Too much consumption of simple carbs over time can affect the hippocampus, which is the center for learning and memory.
6. Trans fats
Trans fats are found in fast food, microwave popcorn, margarine, frozen pizza, refrigerated dough and coffee creamer. They have been shown to affect memory and cognitive function as well as increase bad cholesterol and decrease good cholesterol.