Brain problems linked to eating any food with trans fats, study reveals
(NaturalHealth365) Around five and a half million Americans are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, a potentially fatal condition that leads to a variety of troubling effects including memory loss, personality changes, and loss of independence. Could trans fat be a contributing factor to the life-altering cognitive decline these people experience?
Yes, according to research including a new study published in the journal Neurology. Evidence has already linked these “Frankenfats” to diabetes and heart disease – so we can’t say anybody’s really surprised to learn that consuming these artificial fats can damage the brain.
Trans fat, officially “banned” in U.S., may increase Alzheimer’s disease risk by as much as 75%
Artificially made trans fats are primarily found in fried and processed foods (including microwave popcorn). They can also be found naturally in some foods like meat and dairy, but at least some research suggests naturally occurring trans fats are less harmful to human health.
In this new study from Neurology, researchers followed more than 1,600 Japanese men and women over the course of a decade. Some of these men and women had Alzheimer’s disease, and some didn’t.
After thoroughly analyzing the subjects’ diets and lifestyle, and adjusting for other factors known for increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s, the researchers discovered that people who had the highest levels of trans fat molecules in their blood samples were anywhere from 52% to 74% MORE likely to develop dementia compared to people with the least amount of trans fat in their system.
Products strongly linked to higher levels of trans fat included sweet pastries, margarine, candy, croissants, caramels, non-dairy creamers, ice cream, and rice crackers (the last of which is often touted as a health food).
Now, you might suppose Americans shouldn’t have to worry about this research since trans fats have been officially banned in the United States since 2015. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already given a number of extensions to multiple food industries allowing them to still use trans fats, with the last current extension still active until January 1.
And according to the FDA themselves, the “ban” on trans fats doesn’t mean trans fats will no longer exist in this country. For example, if one serving of a food product contains less than half a gram of trans fat, the food can be labeled as “trans fat free.”
Here’s a question:
If a person is going to eat pastries or fried food (food that has been engineered to trigger overeating and addictive behaviors), do you really think they are only going to consume “one” serving of it?
And let’s not forget: even small amounts of trans fat can be harmful. Repeatedly consuming foods with 0.5 grams of trans fat can and does yield negative health effects on your body and brain.
Protect your brain health as you age with these three research-backed techniques
Other than avoiding heavily processed foods filled with trans fats and more potentially harmful ingredients, here are three things you can start doing today to protect your brain and prevent cognitive decline as you age:
- Commit to a regular exercise routine: Aerobic exercise has been shown to boost the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, aka “fertilizer” for your brain cells
- Eat lots of fruits and veggies: Of course, eat organic and local grown – whenever possible – to minimize your exposure to unwanted chemicals
- Keep your mind stimulated: Get busy with enriching activities like reading, learning new hobbies, crafting, or doing puzzles. In addition, don’t underestimate the importance of social interactions – which have been shown to promote longevity!
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