A recent study looks at the link between these foods and an increased risk of dementia.
That ultra-processed foods is, although we often deny it, very present in our kitchens, our cupboards.
Whether it’s frozen pizzas, chips, cookies… The raw materials have undergone significant transformations through industrial processes and many additives are used. And this family of foods is the source of more than half of the energy intake in many Western countries.
A favored cognitive decline
Already responsible according to previous studies for promoting obesity and cardiovascular disease, a new study whose results have appeared in Damn neurology make these foods “boosters” of cognitive decline. In other words, they would promote dementia or at least make us less efficient.
Researchers at the Medical University of Sao Paulo in Brazil have thus, on the one hand, identified a link between cognitive decline and ultra-processed food. But on the other hand, causality is not formally established.
The investigation in detail
Four groups were formed among the participants (on average 50 years old at the start of the study, which lasted 10 years) according to the proportion of these processed products in their diet.
Results? The researchers suggest that people who eat the most ultra-processed foods have a 28% faster rate of cognitive decline and a 25% faster rate of executive function decline, compared to those who consume very little of the offending foods.
A result that must be handled with care
However, a decline was observed among all four groups at the end of the 10-year follow-up. An expected observation, as the decline increases with age.
Futura-Sciences reports the explanations of Duane Mellor, Professor of Dietetics at the Aston Medical School in Birmingham, UK:
The problem might not be eating more ultra-processed foods, it could be more the fact that they ate less minimally processed foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and legumes (…) we should try to eat less foods with high added sugar, salt and fat while eating more vegetables, fruits, nut and legumes known for their benefits on cognition and general health.