Food for thought  

New research presented Monday at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in San Diego, California reported finding that highly processed foods may hasten the rate of cognitive decline. 

How did it make its findings? 

The research examined the diets and cognition of more than 10,000 middle-aged and older adults in Brazil. Its findings, which have not yet undergone peer review, found that participants who got 20% or more of their daily calories from ultra-processed foods experienced a faster decline in cognitive performance over 6 to 10 years than those with less processed food in their diets. 

Examples of food items mentioned include; instant noodles, sugary drinks, frozen meals, crackers, cookies, white bread, hot dogs, fried snacks, cream cheese, ice cream, candy, soda,  and other processed meats. Adults in the study who consumed the most processed food were found to have had a 25% faster decline in their ability to plan and execute an action, known as “executive function.”

 In a related study published last week, researchers reported finding that for every 10% increase in the daily intake of ultra-processed foods, people in the United Kingdom had a higher (25%) risk of developing dementia

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