Scientists Have Found That Ultra-Processed Food May Negatively Affect Cognitive Performance

In the market, you can see all kinds of ultra-processed food everywhere. (Photo via Pixabay.com)

Ultra-processed food has adverse health effects! Studies have shown that ultra-processed food may harm the human brain; if more than 20% of a person’s daily calorie intake comes from ultra-processed food, it may accelerate cognitive decline.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan (WS News Publisher) – Do you often eat potato chips, instant noodles, and other ultra-processed food? As technology has advanced, ultra-processed foods have become ubiquitous. In the past, people only ate instant noodles occasionally, but now instant noodles have become a common snack, and some people even take them as a main meal. Instant noodles are delicious and convenient, but new research shows that eating such ultra-processed foods may bring people health risks.

What are ultra-processed foods?

Processed foods are basically made by adding salt, oil, sugar, or other substances, such as canned food, syrup, and bread; most processed foods contain more than two or three ingredients. Some foods are highly processed or ultra-processed with many ingredients added and may contain artificial colors, flavors, and other additives.

According to the NOVA food classification system formulated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), food and beverages can be divided into four levels according to the nature, degree, and purpose of processing. 

1. Unprocessed or minimally processed foods. Such as fresh milk, eggs, and vegetables.
2. Manufactured cooking materials. Such as butter, salt, and sugar.
3. Processed food. Examples include bread, smoked meats, and canned food.
4. Ultra-processed foods. Such as instant noodles, soft drinks, snacks, and sauces.

Ultra-processed food may affect cognition

Dietary Factors Play a Big Role in People’s Risk of Diagnosis Later in Life! According to a study published in JAMA Neurology, ultra-processed food may be harmful to the human brain; if more than 20% of a person’s daily caloric intake comes from ultra-processed food, it may accelerate cognition decline in ability.

The study followed more than 10,000 people, both men, and women, for ten years, and more than 50 percent of the participants were women, white, and college-educated. The average age of the participants was 51 when the study began. The researchers assessed the participants’ cognitive performance over time using cognition-related tests.

Researchers found that people who consumed 20 percent or more of their calories from ultra-processed foods had a higher risk of developing dementia. In other words, an adult male needs 2,000 to 3,000 calories daily, and consuming 400 calories daily (about 20 to 30 potato chips) from ultra-processed foods could be risky.

Healthy eating helps keep disease away

Eat less processed food and eat more natural food! WHO stated that an unhealthy diet is one of the significant global health risks at present. The common problem is too little fiber intake and too much protein and starch. It is recommended that everyone eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans.

The best diet for 2022, selected by U.S. News, is the “Mediterranean Diet.” This diet is based on fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, whole grains, olive oil, and spices can be seen in every meal, and fish and white meat are mixed in moderation. Eating less processed foods and foods high in salt and sugar is recommended.

The life expectancy in Monaco is over 89 years old. They are accustomed to eating a Mediterranean diet, which mainly consumes healthy fats (olive oil), rich fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish and shellfish, beans, and dairy products, and uses spices in moderation. They eat less red meat and sweets and usually drink red wine in moderation in addition to drinking water!

Modern people are used to eating out, with a diet rich in oil, sugar, and meat and less in fruits and vegetables. Poor eating habits lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and heart disease and stroke patients have tended to become younger in recent years. Experts advocate the intake of healthy fats and a balanced diet. You can also try to make your body healthier through the Mediterranean diet!

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