Eating more whole foods may lower dementia risk – Macomb Daily

A study published in July 2022 in Neurology, a journal of the American Academy of Neurology, suggests that eating whole foods might lower the risk of dementia. The research was carried out in 72,083 adults aged 55 years and over without dementia at baseline in the UK Biobank.

The authors investigated the association between ultra-processed foods (UPF) and dementia, where participants’ diets were assessed based on the amount of UPF they consumed. The highest group had a 28% UPF diet compared to the lowest 9% UPF group.

The results implied that for every 10% increase in the daily dietary intake of UPF, the risk of dementia increased by 25%. By contrast, replacing 10% of UPF foods with whole foods (unprocessed or minimally processed) was associated with a 19% lower risk of dementia.

“Ultra-processed foods are meant to be convenient and tasty, but they lower the quality of a person’s diet,” said study author Huiping Li, Ph.D. from Tianjin Medical University in China.

Every time you choose what to eat or drink, ask yourself: what is the best nutritious, minimally processed and healthy option?  (Photo courtesy of Metro Creative Connection)
Every time you choose what to eat or drink, ask yourself: what is the best nutritious, minimally processed and healthy option? (Photo courtesy of Metro Creative Connection)

“These foods may also contain food additives or molecules from packaging or produced during heating, all of which have been shown in other studies to negatively affect thinking and memory skills.”

“Our research not only found that ultra-processed foods are associated with increased dementia risk, but also found that replacing them with healthy options may decrease dementia risk.”

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