Study links ultra-processed foods to poorer cognition

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Study links ultra-processed foods to poorer cognition

Consumption of ultra-processed foods is associated with poorer cognitive performance among older adults.

These foods include packaged snacks and pre-prepared dishes such as pizza and pies.

The researchers from Australia conducting the study told Healthline they defined ultra-processed foods as those that undergo “several industrial processes that can’t be reproduced at home.”

They noted that these items contain little to no whole foods and typically include flavorings, colorings, emulsifiers, and other cosmetic additives.

That’s opposed to processed foods that the researchers defined as foods that commonly have added sugar, oil, or salt.

The processing is used to increase the durability or enhance the “sensory qualities” of the food.

Examples include canned veggies, fruits, legumes, and salted, cured, or smoked meats.

This study is in line with previous research that indicates that an unhealthy diet can impair cognitive abilities and raise the risk of dementia-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

“The next step for this research is to study if reducing the amount of ultra-processed foods in one’s diet could improve cognition,” said Percy Griffin, director of scientific engagement for the Alzheimer’s Association, who was not involved with the study.

The study was published in the European Journal of Nutrition. The full story is at Healthline.

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