We know they are not the healthiest, but ultra-processed foods are quick, easy, and tasty. Now new research shows eating a lot of these products can significantly speed up cognitive decline.
The study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference followed more than 10,000 people over nine years. People who consumed the highest amount of ultra-processed foods, more than 20% of their daily caloric intake, had a 28% faster cognitive decline, in particular in memory and executive function.
Ultra-processed foods contain large amounts of fat, sugar, salt as well as artificial flavors and colors. Examples include soda, cereal, white bread, potato chips, and frozen foods, like pizza, fries and ice cream.
Experts say with growing evidence that what we eat can impact the brain, it’s best to eat heart healthy, which is a diet low in processed foods and high in fruits and vegetables.
Previous research shows a link between consuming ultra-processed foods and a higher risk of cardiovascular disease for adults.