(WXOW) – While it’s widely known that eating too much processed food can cause obesity and diabetes, what you may not know, is that it can cause problems with your memory as well.
A study from the University of São Paulo, reports that adults who eat ultra-processed foods as more than 20% of their daily diet, have a 28% faster decline in memory, verbal fluency, and executive functions like time management, and the Alzheimer’s Association is sounding the alarm.
Kate Kahles, the program manager for Alzheimer’s Association Wisconsin, said, “Ultra-processed foods are foods that go through some pretty significant industrial changes – so some chemical modifications that are making the foods resemble not much of what their original ingredients were.”
Kahles says that the more the food looks like it’s natural form, the healthier it is. But for some, healthier foods can be expensive or hard to find, leading people to consume more processed foods in an effort to save time and money.
Annie Wetter, a professor of nutrition at UWSP, said, “It has to do with convenience, and that’s exactly what food manufacturer’s are producing for us when they create ultra-processed foods.”
It’s a trade-off that Wetter says is not worth it, saying that while it may be cheaper to eat processed foods now, the health problems they cause will lead to some hefty medical bills in the future, saying, “When we really look at a calorie level, or like you say a health level, we actually are not saving money long-term.”
Both women say that it’s ok to eat foods that are slightly processed in small amounts, but to avoid ultra-processed foods as much as possible.
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