What are ultra-processed foods?
Ultra-processed foods are ready-to-eat products that contain high amounts of artificial ingredients and additives. These foods are manufactured and heavily processed, and often lack nutrients that are essential for our bodies. Typical examples of ultra-processed foods include fast food meals, candy, soda, and chips.
Why are ultra-processed foods linked to cognitive decline?
A recent study suggests that consuming an excessive amount of ultra-processed foods may lead to cognitive decline in later life. The study found that people who consumed a diet high in these foods had a higher risk of developing dementia compared to those who ate more whole foods.
What did the study reveal?
The study, conducted by the University of California, followed a large group of people over a period of several years. The researchers found that those who consumed more ultra-processed foods had a higher risk of developing dementia. This was particularly true for those who had a genetic predisposition to the disease.
How can you reduce your intake of ultra-processed foods?
The easiest way to reduce your intake of ultra-processed foods is to start cooking more. By eating whole foods that you’ve prepared yourself, you can control what goes into your meals and ensure that you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs. Additionally, try to avoid fast food and other highly processed snacks when you can. Instead, reach for fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
While it’s nearly impossible to avoid ultra-processed foods entirely, you can take steps to reduce your intake and improve your overall health. By making small changes to your diet, you can decrease your risk of cognitive decline and other chronic diseases.