“You are what you eat” holds a lot of truth! One’s diet can determine a lot of different things about them, including memory loss, so if you’re struggling with remembering what you ate for breakfast yesterday, maybe you should change the menu!
According to a BMJ research, ultra processed foods contribute to 89.7 percent of American citizens’ energy intake from added sugar and almost 58 percent of their daily total energy intake.
Furthermore, only around 12 percent of all Americans are considered to be metabolically healthy, as per data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
Now that you know that, you should also be aware that if processed food is bad for your body, it is also bad for your brain!
Studies suggest that a diet characterized as high in calories and fat and low in nutritional value is the number one cause of memory loss.
Many of the same studies also link poor diet with a higher risk of developing neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Ohio State researcher and co-author of another study shared that their findings “indicate that processed diet consumption can produce significant and abrupt memory deficits—and in the aging population, fast memory decline has a greater probability of progressing into neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.”
With that being said, to avoid rapid memory loss or even developing irreversible neurodegenerative diseases, you should ensure that you are consuming a balanced, healthy diet, full of nutrients that are good for both the body and the mind.
For instance, Omega-3 fatty acids should be included in your diet since they are considered building blocks for the mind.
However, the same cannot be said about Omega-6s! These acids are found in most cooking oils, such as those made of soybean and sunflower.
Sadly, the typical Western diet contains no less than 10 times more Omega-6s than Omega-3s and a review of 14 different studies in the Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics pointed out that this ratio imbalance can atrophy the hippocampus and lead to cognitive decline later on in life.
Other studies also suggest avoiding alcohol as much as possible as even a moderate amount can hurt the brain.
In fact, research published in the journal Stroke by researchers at Johns Hopkins University’s department of epidemiology learned that a mere drink a day could lead to your brain atrophying.
Saturated fats like those found in cheese, butter, meats and full-fat dairy as well as added sugars and trans fats (usually found in fried foods and baked goods) have all been associated with lower brain volume, dementia, and memory problems in general, as per a Neurobiology of Aging review.