As more and more research is beginning to find connections between diet and brain health, many people are starting to reevaluate their diets.
We now know that highly-processed, sugar-saturated foods wreak havoc on our brains and have been linked to all kinds of health complications from diabetes, to heart disease, to dementia.
And while we may ultimately know that fresh produce, whole grains, and lean meats are the healthier choice, it can be confusing to know what we should be avoided entirely.
To help, we’ve listed three of the worst foods for your brain:
Many people already know that soda is loaded with sugar – sometimes up to twice as much as is recommend for our daily intake in just one can – but don’t forget about other drinks with hidden sugar too. Energy drinks and even some fruit juices are full of high fructose corn syrup, which has been linked to a laundry list of complications from diabetes to inflammation. A sugary diet itself has been linked to impaired memory, reduced brain function, and a lack of neuron production.
Trans fats are the real enemy here and margarine is just one of many foods that are loaded with these fats. Coffee creamer, frozen pizza, microwave popcorn, and many packaged snack foods are other culprits to avoid. Some studies have linked trans fats to impaired memory, brain shrinkage, and cognitive decline.
3. White Bread
Not all carbs are created equal, and refined carbs, frequently found in white bread, white rice, and white pasta, are what to watch out for. It’s thought that these refined carbs trigger inflammation of the hippocampus, which can negatively impact memory. Inflammation of the brain has also been linked to depression and other mental health conditions.
There are plenty more foods that can negatively impact your body and brain health, but if you’re looking for a place to start, try cutting out these foods and replace them with brain-healthy foods.
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