The 5 Worst Foods That Can Damage Your Brain
Today, people are preoccupied with their weight and are constantly in search of a diet that will help them lose those extra pounds. There’s no doubt that being overweight may cause numerous health issues, however, you shouldn’t limit your search just to foods that will make you slimmer, but you should also be concerned about how certain foods may affect other important aspects of your health, especially your brain.
That’s right – some of the foods you consume may have negative effects on your memory and cognitive abilities. That is why you should learn which foods may have that impact on your health and try to consume them as little as possible if you want to keep your brain in ‘good shape.’
The following 5 foods have been shown to be some of the worst foods for your brain, so we strongly advise you to consume them moderately:
- WHITE RICE
This food belongs to the group of high-glycemic foods, known to increase the risk of depression.
Some types of carbs may negatively affect your brain, resulting in an emotional health dip. According to the findings of a 2015 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, post-menopausal women who eat high-glycemic foods, meaning refined carbohydrates such as white rice and bread, potatoes, and cornflakes, have a higher incidence of new-onset depression.
On the other hand, it was found that the higher intake of fiber, lactose, non-juice fruit, and vegetables, equals a lower risk of depression.
Why is this so: High-glycemic foods make blood sugar spike suddenly, leading to increased insulin production, explains Kristin Kirkpatrick, M.S., R.D., Manager of Wellness Nutrition Services at Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.
“Consumption of highly refined carbs is linked to fatigue, mood swings, and other symptoms of depression,” she says.
Trans fats damage the function of your brain and your memory.
The FDA plans to remove trans fats from the food supply by 2018, however, they are still present in high amounts in many foods. This type of fat is very harmful and remains solid at room temperature.
Some of the foods that contain this unhealthy ingredient include frozen pizza, frosting, stick margarine, refrigerated dough, microwave popcorn, and coffee creamer. The possible consequences of trans fat consumption were shown in a 2011 study published in the journal Neurology. This study showed that consuming trans fats may lead to reduced cognitive function and less total cerebral brain volume. In addition, another study carried out in 2014, which comprised of 1,000 male participants, found that those who ate more trans fats performed worse on memory tests.
Fried foods are linked to increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Fried foods are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, both of which damage your brain. The saturated food contained in fried foods is found to damage the blood-brain barrier, says Martha Clare Morris, ScD, Professor and Director, Section of Nutrition & Nutritional Epidemiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Rush University.
“One interesting observation from animal models is that it seems that diets higher in saturated fats disrupt the blood-barrier,” says Dr. Morris. “The barrier is a complex transport system for nutrients into the brain,” she explains.
“When it’s disrupted, it can allow harmful substances to get in and perhaps injure the brain. It can also disrupt the uptake of nutrients that are important for brain function.”
Foods such as cheese, which have high saturated fat content, damage your memory and lead to inflammation in the brain.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, Americans eat too much cheese and pizza, which are actually the two biggest sources of saturated fat in their diet. Diets high in fat lead to poor memory, and they are also found to damage your hypothalamus, a part of the brain responsible for controlling body-weight regulation, according to a 2011 study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Researchers were inclined to examine brain images of obese people once they found that rodents fed a high-fat diet (60% of calories from fat) sustain injury to their hypothalamus as a result of increased inflammation. It was shown that this type of diet causes the same damage to brain cells in humans as well.
In short, the consumption of high-fat diet damages your brain’s ability to regulate the food you consume, making you prone to obesity.
- FRUIT JUICES
Sugar reduces cognitive flexibility, as well as short- and long-term memory.
Choosing orange juice over soda may seem like a healthier choice, however when it comes to sugar delivery, fruit juice is as big a culprit as cola.
A 2015 study in the journal Neuroscience shows that mice subjected to high-sugar and high-fat diets ended up with significant cognitive decline. Their long- and short-term memory took a hit, as did their cognitive flexibility, described as the ability to problem-solve in the face of new information.
The high-sugar diet group showed the biggest declines in brain function, especially cognitive flexibility.
What To Eat To Preserve Your Brain’s Health
There is a new diet, called MIND, which has been found to reduce your Alzheimer’s risk by 35-53%. It is actually a combination of the Mediterranean Diet and the American Heart Association-endorsed DASH diet.
Some of the foods that boost brain function and are considered brain-friendly include the following:
- Green leafy vegetables;
- Other types of vegetables;
- Whole grains;
- Olive oil;
Foods that are considered unhealthy for your brain include:
- Butter and stick margarine;
- Fried or fast food;
- Sweets and pastries;
- Red meats;
Therefore, we recommend you to limit the consumption of unhealthy foods like those listed above, and eat more healthy fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish instead. Thus, you will boost your brain function and improve your general health.
The 5 worst foods that can harm your memory. (n.d.). Retrieved January 3, 2017, from http://www.barenaturaltruth.com/foods-can-harm-memory/
Schwartz, S. (2015, November 8). The 5 worst foods for your brain. Retrieved January 3, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-5-worst-foods-for-your-brain_us_563d1713e4b0411d30711ac4
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