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Diets high in “super-processed” foods can be harmful to the brain

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Stephen Reinberg
Health Day Reporter

Thursday, July 28, 2022 (HealthDay News)-Eating lots of ultra-processed foods can dramatically increase your risk. dementiaAccording to a new study by Chinese researchers.

Super processed foods sugar, thick And salt, but low protein And fiber. Soda, salty and sugar snacks and desserts, ice creamSausage, fried chicken, flavored yogurt, ketchup, mayonnaise, package bread And flavor cereals are all examples.

Replacing these foods with healthier alternatives can reduce your chances of dementia by 19%. the study found.

“These results make it important to inform consumers about these relevance, take action on product represcription, and communicate to limit the proportion of superprocessed foods in the diet. It means that there is. [instead] Instead, it promotes the consumption of raw or minimal processed foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits. “

This study does not prove that eating super-processed foods increases the risk of dementia, it only seems to be relevant.

Dr. Sam Gandhi, director of the Mount Sinai Cognitive Health Center in New York City, reviewed the findings.

“This is in line with increasing evidence that a good diet and lifestyle for the heart is the best way to regulate the risk of dementia,” Gandhi said. “The main novelty here is that it focuses on the risks of super-processed foods, not the benefits of foods that are good for heart health.”

For this study, Li’s team collected data on more than 72,000 people listed in UK Biobank, a large database of health information for people in the United Kingdom. Initially, participants were over 55 years old and no one had dementia. In an average of 10 years, 518 people developed dementia.

Researchers compared 18,000 people, whose diets contained very little processed foods, to the same number of people who ate a lot of them.

Among the participants with the lowest intake of processed foods (about 8 ounces a day), 100 participants developed dementia, while the participants with the highest intake were 150 (about 28-29 ounces a day). )was.In this study, one serving of pizza or fish Stick to just over 5 ounces.

Beverages, sugar products and super-processed dairy products were the main factors in the intake of super-processed foods.

Li’s group puts 10% of super-processed foods at risk of dementia (not Alzheimer’s disease) by replacing them with raw or minimal processed foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, milk and meat. We estimated that it could be reduced by 19%.

Lee said easily changing food choices could make a big difference.

“Small and manageable dietary changes, such as increasing the amount of raw or minimally processed food by just 2 ounces a day [about half an apple, a serving of corn, or a bowl of bran cereal]At the same time, reduce the intake of super-processed foods by 2 ounces a day [about a chocolate bar or a serving of bacon]The risk of dementia may be reduced by 3%. “

Samantha Heller, senior clinical dietitian at NYU Langone Health in New York City, said it has long been known that super-processed foods increase the likelihood of developing some chronic illnesses. They include heart disease, certain cancers, Type 2 diabetes When obesity..

“The exact cause is unknown, but it’s not surprising that this type of dietary pattern is associated with an increased risk of dementia,” she said. “Super-processed foods are biochemically designed and advertised to increase cravings and desires for these foods, and in many homes, fruits, vegetables, legumes, etc. Whole grains.. “

Poor quality of nutrients in super-processed foods high in salt, sugar and sugar Saturated fatAnd low fiber-Heller said this is a recipe for poor physical and mental health.

“Avoiding dementia is another major reason to start incorporating more plant-based, less super-processed, and animal foods into our diet,” she said.

Switching is as easy as replacing sweet cereals with whole-grain cereals such as shredded wheat or oatmeal, or topping pizza with salads, mushrooms, or spinach instead of pepperni or sausages.

Alternatively, I suggested trying Farafel with chopped tomatoes and cucumbers instead of ham sandwiches, or whole wheat pita with lentil soup and side salad instead of cheeseburgers.

“Every meal is an opportunity to make healthy choices,” Heller said.

Keeping canned and dried beans, whole grains such as quinoa and brown rice, and healthy foods such as peanuts and almond butter, trail mix, and frozen vegetables in the kitchen makes it easier to organize a diet rich in fiber and nutrients. I can do it. ..

“Learning new ways to prepare meals and ideas for meals can be daunting at first, but there are plenty of free recipes and resources online to rely on for guidance,” Heller said. .. “By the way, in my patients, reducing super-processed foods and eating more fresh foods reduces their cravings and taste for super-processed foods, and sometimes makes breakfast sandwiches of bacon, eggs, and cheese. I understand. It’s not delicious anymore. “

The findings were published online in the journal on July 27th. Neurology ..

Boston University researchers Maura Walker and Nicole Spartano, at the companion editorial, questioned the definition of ultra-processed foods in this study. They pointed out that cooking methods can affect the nutritional value of foods, and said that further dietary-independent studies self-reported by participants would be beneficial.

“We aim to better understand the complexity of dietary intake. [processing, timing, mixed meals] We must also consider that we may need to invest in higher quality dietary assessments. “

For more information

For more information on diet and dementia, visit the National Institute on Aging.

Source: Huiping Li, PhD, School of Public Health, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin, China; Sam Gandhi, MD, PhD, Director of Cognitive Health Center, Mount Sinai, New York City. Samantha Heller, MS, RD, CDN, Senior Clinical Dietitian, NYU Langone Health, New York City. NeurologyJuly 27, 2022, online

Sources

1/ https://Google.com/

2/ https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/news/20220728/diets-heavy-in-ultra-processed-foods-could-harm-the-brain

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