A recent study has uncovered a potential link between dementia and ultra-processed foods. According to the study, eating a lot of ultra-processed food can trigger faster cognitive decline and increase the risk of dementia.
What Are Ultra-Processed Foods?
Ultra-processed foods are heavily processed and generally contain technological, sensory, or other industrial additives. This includes many of the convenience foods we eat daily such as ready meals, pre-packaged snacks, sugary drinks, and instant noodles. These foods tend to be high in fat, sugar, and salt and contain little or no nutritional value.
The Study’s Findings
The study – conducted at the University of São Paulo Medical School, found that individuals who regularly consumed ultra-processed food had a 28% faster rate of cognitive decline and a 25% faster decline in their brain’s executive function.
This research suggests that what we eat can influence our risk of developing dementia later in life. The findings indicate that limiting the consumption of ultra-processed foods may be an essential step toward reducing the risk of cognitive decline and other age-related diseases.
Of course, further research is needed to confirm these results before any firm conclusions can be drawn about the relationship between dietary habits and dementia risk.
How Can You Reduce Your Risk?
Incorporating more whole foods into your diet—such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains—is an effective way to reduce your intake of ultra-processed products.
Additionally, choosing organic options whenever possible can help minimize exposure to pesticides and other chemicals linked to elevated dementia risk.
Finally, carefully reading food labels can help you make informed decisions about what you put into your body.