Eating Ultraprocessed Foods Linked to Increased Dementia Risk

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Chips, pizza, cookies: Delicious, but a diet full of ultraprocessed foods like these may contribute to brain deterioration, researchers report.

Ultraprocessed foods have lots of added and unhealthy ingredients, such as sugar, salt, fat, artificial colors, and preservatives. Examples include frozen meals, soft drinks, hot dogs and cold cuts, fast food, packaged cookies, cakes and salty snacks.

These foods have been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome and obesity.

Now, scientists in Brazil have tied them to a greater risk of declining brainpower.

The study couldn't prove cause-and-effect. However, "the cognitive decline could be the result of microvascular lesions in the brain, reduced brain volume or even systemic inflammation caused by the consumption of ultra-processed foods," theorized study lead researcher Natalia Gomes Goncalves. She's in the Department of Pathology in the School of Medicine at the University of Sao Paulo.

.....For the study, the researchers collected data on nearly 11,000 men and women, with a mean age of 52, who took part in the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health.

During a median follow-up of eight years, participants who ate more than 20% of daily calories from ultraprocessed foods had a 28% faster decline in global cognition and a 25% faster decline in executive function, Goncalves said. This association was stronger for adults aged 35 to 59, compared with adults older than 59, she said.

.....Based on these findings, doctors might counsel patients to cook at home using fresh ingredients, instead of buying ready-made meals and snacks, Goncalves said.

More study is needed to confirm whether a high intake of ultra-processed foods really directly harms the brain.

......When people eat ultraprocessed foods on a regular basis, they are unlikely to get the fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that their bodies need to be healthy, fight disease and reduce inflammation, she said.

"Ultimately, this can affect how well our brains work because they need a steady supply of these macro- and micronutrients to function properly. We can't mentally muscle our way through poor nutrition," Heller explained.

Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
Staff member
I like healthy food and junk food equally. So I try to eat them accordingly :) :lol

I like to eat what I like to eat without worrying about it. Turns out most of what I like is made from scratch and is good enough for me. I have cut out all candy/dessert type stuff but aside from that I eat what I want.

I've never been one to gravitate towards those ultra processed meals that you zap in the microwave to heat and then eat. My palate is used to something better.


Well-Known Member
The less processed the better. My granny used to say butter is better because God made it. Referring to the perils of eating lab created margerine. After the dust has settled, half a century has passed and it turns out she was right. The transfats in margerine fueled a lot of heart disease all while claiming to prevent it.


Well-Known Member
Well, I am doomed. The real stuff like butter is way too expensive. It's $6 for 2 cups where lard and margarine are $3. I can't even have butter anymore. I am sure the dairy-free products have all sorts of stuff in them. But I just can't worry about it.

It's the same with meats. We mostly eat ground meat. Often ground pork.


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I always preferred homemade cookies and such to store bought anyway. While I would occasionally have some oreos with chocolate stuffing Ooasionally as an adult, I preferred our local grocers bakery.

Now that I got a new stove to replace the one that was here when I bought the house over 20 years ago - making the old stove about 50 years old I think - and I can see the knobs because they are in front, I have started to do a lot more baking. (My exercise bike I got last Christmas means I can We're in more calories too since it works a lot better :))

So, while it takes more time I think eventually it Works out better as far as cost in the long run anyway. Especially with the gobs of recipes you can find online nowadays. :)

I do wonder about if it's possible to do eggless or butterless recipes since I don't use those on a regular basis otherwise. But I'm sure there is a way. Either that or I will become the typical neighbor who comes over to borrow something all the time. (It's not like you can ask someone to bring a couple eggs to church and expect them to stay good)

Edit: Or not, I just Googled and you can freeze eggs. Edit again. Just not in the shell to be safe. Oh why not let's keep editing. :) Oh, but apparently the yoke is too Hard to whisk for a cake then. But Apple sauce is a replacement? Wow that is something I should try.
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Well-Known Member
Back during the Civil war someone invented man made lamp oil. After the war the manufacture made Crisco and marketed it as a cheap replacement for cooking lard. Then they tried to market it to the Jew population so they could cook stuff that uses lard by replacing with Crisco. About that time a doctor spoke up and said that Crisco would cause heart disease.