Name of study: Highly processed foods harm memory in the ageing brain
By who and where: Ohio State University, USA
What does it say?
✥ Foods with a long shelf life often have preservatives that cause inflammation in the brain, which leads to memory loss.
✥ It ages the brain and brings on cognitive decline.
✥ Things such as potato chips, frozen pizza, pasta, meat, chicken and other items with large amounts of preservatives, are harmful to the brain.
✥ Only four weeks of processed food consumption can affect brain functioning adversely.
Damage is inevitable
Dr Aditya S Chowti, Senior Consultant Internal Medicine, Fortis Hospital, Cunningham Road, Bengaluru
Eating a lot of processed food or complex carbohydrates can result in the production of toxins, which triggers an inflammatory process, hence leading to cascading mental health. Some foods contain substances like nitrosamines, which can cause the liver to produce fats that are toxic to the brain, while others contain diacetyl, which may increase the amyloid plaques in the brain, linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, those who consume a lot of processed food will eventually be at a greater risk of memory loss.
It’s not the villain
Dr Sreekanta Swamy, Head of Neurology, Aster RV Hospital, Bengaluru
There is a combination of many other factors that can affect memory problems, so blaming only processed food is not right. Those who follow a balanced diet, exercise regularly, take care of their mental health, have no associated co-morbidities, aren’t likely to be impacted by the moderate intake of processed food, neither is their memory in danger. If you are someone who already has neurological dysfunction or has an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle, highly processed foods can put your brain health in jeopardy.