As you age, your risk of developing dementia naturally increases. Although dementia risk factors such as age and family history cannot be changed, exercise, alcohol intake, and diet can. Watching what you drink and eat can play an important role in your brain function. It may help reduce the risk of dementia.
Deciphering which foods are good or bad for your brain health can seem challenging. However, a new study American Academy of Neurology The study makes it easy to determine exactly what those foods are. The study, published on July 27, 2022, found that Eating ultra-processed foods is linked to an increased risk of dementia.
The study included 72,083 participants aged 55 years and over. The information was obtained from the UK Biobank – a large database containing health information for half a million people living in the UK. The participants did not have dementia at the start of the study. The study followed the participants for about 10 years. They also had to fill out at least two questionnaires about what they ate and drank the previous day. By the end of the study, 518 people had been diagnosed with dementia.
In the study, researchers determined how much highly processed food the participants ate based on food intake questionnaires. They calculated this as a percentage of the total food intake per day. Then, the participants were divided into four equal groups, ranging from the lowest consumption of ultra-processed foods to the highest.
The researchers took into account factors that could influence the risk of developing dementia. These factors included age, gender, family history of dementia, heart disease, and others. Once identified, the study concluded that, on average, For every 10% increase in daily intake of ultra-processed foods, people have a 25% risk of developing dementia. Some highly processed foods worth noting included beverages, sugary products, and ultra-processed dairy products.
Furthermore, the study shows an association between ultra-processed foods and the risk of dementia. A lower risk of dementia has been associated with replacing ultra-processed foods in a person’s diet with foods that are not processed or minimally processed.
Reducing your intake of ultra-processed foods and replacing them with whole foods suggests a variety of health benefits. Amy Shapiro, MS, RDand a member of our Medical Expert Council. “Including reducing inflammation and the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and now dementia.”
Shapiro also suggests that processed foods may taste great. However, they are often full of sugar, sodium, unhealthy fats, preservatives, and other chemicals. These ingredients do not promote health and wellness.
“The research in this area is powerful because it fuels the conversation that food in its whole form can heal and promote health and wellness,” she says. “However, the types of foods reviewed in this study did not include other ultra-processed foods that individuals consider healthy. Such as vegan burgers, healthy potato chips, cereal, etc.”
However, we need to do more research, according to Shapiro. She also believes that a detailed diet history and food journals will help to understand more about the role these foods play.
“Providing this information is important,” Shapiro says. “But educating how to replace these foods with healthy ones that are accessible to everyone is also an important message to share.”
Kayla Garitano is a writer on the dining team, Not That! She graduated from Hofstra University, majoring in journalism and majoring in marketing and creative writing. Read more
#Worst #Foods #Increase #Dementia #Risk #Study #Suggests #Eat