There are many factors that can play a role in providing risk for brain health problems. One of them is not maintaining a healthy diet. According to Dr Uma Naidoo, a nutritionist at Harvard Medical School, healthy dietary changes can bring significant improvements to a person’s mood and mental well-being, including improving brain health.
For this reason, it is important to pay attention to the food intake that will be consumed daily. Dr Uma Naidoo suggests consuming several foods such as vegetables, fruit, seafood, nuts and seeds because they are good for brain health. Apart from that, these foods are also a source of important nutrients that are rich in antioxidants and healthy fats.
However, there are also certain foods that should not be consumed too often because they can have a bad impact on brain health. Two of the bad effects are decreasing memory and focus. Therefore, you need to avoid or limit your intake of these foods.
So, what foods are they? Summarized from CNBC, here are 5 foods according to Harvard nutritionists that can have a bad impact on brain health if consumed in excess. Check it out!
Foods Made from Refined Grain Oils
Foods made from refined grain oils/Photo: Pexels/Pixabay
Refined oils are often extracted from grains such as soybeans, corn, rapeseed (a source of canola oil), cottonseed, sunflower, and safflower seeds. So foods made from processed oils tend to contain more omega-6 fatty acids.
If you consume omega-6 fatty acids too often, it can trigger the body to produce chemicals that cause inflammation in the brain. Therefore, avoid consuming foods made from refined grain oils too often. As an alternative, Dr Uma Naidoo suggests replacing processed oil with olive or coconut oil.
Foods with Added Sugar
Food with added sugar/Photo: Freepik/@freepik
Beauties, did you know? Foods with added sugar have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, cognitive decline, memory impairment and reduced plasticity of the hippocampus (the part of the brain that controls memory). This disease occurs due to excess glucose in the brain.
So you need to avoid it so that brain health is not disturbed. Meanwhile, according to Eating Well, it is recommended that women limit their intake of added sugar to less than 24 grams per day and men to less than 36 grams per day. In this case, there are several examples of foods that contain added sugar and you should limit your intake, namely gummy bears and donuts.
Gummy bear/Foto: Pexels/Magda Ehlers
Reporting from Eat This, Not That!, gummy bears do not contain any nutrients because basically this food is made from pure sugar. Even though sugar in the form of glucose is needed as an energy source for the brain, if you consume too much sugar you can experience memory problems and increase the risk of dementia.
Likewise with donuts. Donuts have a triple negative impact when it comes to foods that don’t support brain health. Foods that are usually used as snacks are generally made with added sugar, which if consumed excessively can cause a decrease in cognitive function.
Processed foods/Photo: Freepik/@denamorado
Consuming processed foods too often is associated with many negative impacts on health, including brain health. This is because processed foods can shorten telomeres or “boundaries” in human DNA. Having shorter telomeres puts you at risk of developing degenerative diseases early in life. Conversely, longer telomeres tend to promote healthy cellular aging.
Furthermore, a 2022 study also found that participants who consumed large amounts of processed foods such as baked goods or fizzy drinks were more likely to experience mild depression compared to those who consumed less.
Foods with Artificial Sweeteners
Foods with artificial sweeteners/Photo: Pexels/Pixabay
Apart from foods with added sugar, foods with artificial sweeteners can also have a bad impact on brain health. The reason is, most artificial sweeteners have no nutritional value so they can increase “bad” gut bacteria which have a negative impact on mood and the brain.
There are several artificial sweeteners that you need to limit or avoid, for example saccharin, sucralose, stevia and aspartame. If you consume too much food with artificial sweeteners, it can be very dangerous because it can cause oxidation which increases dangerous free radicals in the brain.
Therefore, instead of using artificial sweeteners in food, you can consider using honey, fruit extract, or coconut sugar.
Fried foods/Photo: Pexels/RDNE Stock project
Whatever food is fried, it always tastes delicious and appetizing. However, behind the deliciousness it provides, fried food has a dark side that can damage the brain.
In a study of more than 18,000 people found that a diet high in fried foods or fried foods was associated with decreased memory and cognition. So to avoid this from happening, you need to reduce fried foods. As an alternative, Dr Uma Naidoo suggests processing food by steaming.
Well, Beauties, those are 5 foods according to Harvard nutritionists that can have a bad impact on brain health if consumed too often. Make sure from now on you don’t consume these foods excessively, OK!
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