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Consuming more highly processed food items is related to faster cognitive decline: Study

New Delhi, IndiaEdited By: Srishti Singh SisodiaUpdated: Aug 03, 2022, 01:15 AM IST
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Representative image. Photograph:(Others)

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What are the risks of eating highly processed foods? Those participants who consumed 20% or more of their daily calories from ultra-processed foods saw a faster decline in cognitive performance 

Recent research found that consuming highly processed foods, such as instant noodles and sugary drinks, might lead to a faster rate of cognitive decline. New research presented on Monday (August 1) at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in San Diego, suggested eating highly processed foods is linked to cognitive decline. The study has not yet been peer-reviewed. 

As per the study, there was a 25 per cent faster cognitive decline in the ability of adults who ate more processed food items. The abilities involved planning and executing a task. 

These 25 per cent of people were compared to those whose diets did not contain much-processed food. Notably, the study analysed the diets and cognition of more than 10,000 middle-aged and older adults in Brazil. 

It is understood that crackers, chips, deli meat and other similar ready-to-eat foods are more heavily processed. On the other hand, frozen or premade meals, including frozen pizza and microwaveable dinners are the most heavily processed foods. 

As per the findings of the study, those participants who consumed 20% or more of their daily calories from ultra-processed foods saw a faster decline in cognitive performance over between six to 10 years. The ultra-processed food items most likely have many added ingredients such as sugar, salt, fat and artificial colours or preservatives. 

The food items that are related to the study include white bread, crackers, cookies, fried snacks, cream cheese, ice cream, candy, soda, hot dogs and other processed meats. 

Claudia Suemoto, an author of the study, said, "Independent of the amount of calories, independent of the amount of healthy food that you try to eat, the ultra-processed food is not good for your cognition." Suemoto is an assistant professor of geriatrics at the University of Sao Paulo Medical School. 

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