Highly Processed Foods Linked to Accelerated Cognitive Decline

A new study suggests that eating too many daily calories from highly processed foods like lunch meats, frozen meals and packaged cookies may accelerate cognitive decline.

In the study, researchers examined the nutritional and cognitive function test scores of more than 8,000 adults in Brazil. At the start of the study, participants consumed an average of about 2,850 calories per day. About 28 percent of her daily calories came from highly processed foods.

After about nine years of follow-up, cognitive test scores for memory and executive functioning declined the most in participants who ate the most processed foods, according to preliminary study results presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference July 31-August 4 were presented in San Diego.

“There is mounting evidence that what we eat can affect our brains as we age, and many studies suggest that eating a heart-healthy, balanced diet low in processed foods and foods is best for our brains eating lots of whole foods like vegetables and fruits,” says Percy Griffin, PhD, director of scientific engagement at the Alzheimer’s Association.

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