The human brain weighs three pounds.Many factors influence the development of and deterioration of brain cells. Things like: an unhealthy diet, lack of stimulation, and a sedentary lifestyle are major contributors to killing brain cells and memory problems. Studies have shown that a stimulating environment can result in a25% greater ability to learnand retain information.
Diets high in certain foods can actually harm or kill brain cells.
1. Trans Fatty Acids.
Fatty acids are found in all sorts of things including: processed foods, margarines, salad oils, deli meats, bakery goods, potato and corn chips, and candy.
Americans consumean estimated 10-30 grams of trans fatty acids every day. The RDA is less than a third of that.
Regular consumption of such things as: trans fatty acids, saturated fats or refined sugars can raise levels of harmful LDL cholesterol. This has been linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
To make trans fatty acids, natural unsaturated vegetable fats are heated to a high temperature with a nickel catalyst and hydrogen gas. This process is called hydrogenation. Trans fatty acids have an unnaturally long shelf life. Thus hydrogenation is a valued process.
Approximately 70% of the US-produced soybean oil has been partially hydrogenated. A natural product has been altered by a unnatural process. Natural fats have been converted to an unnatural chemically altered substance.
In recent studies visual memory of healthy adults resulted in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) when they consumed high levels of saturated fat and simple carbs. Test groups that ate foods low in saturated fat with fewer simple carbs did not show symptoms of MCI.
Moreover after one month of a low saturated fat and simple carbs diet, visual memory of the first group showed improvement.
A 2011 study of people who consume diets high in trans fatty acids revealed that this group had less favorable cognitive function and less total cerebral brain volume. The group also had lower scores on cognitive and memory tests.
2. Saturated Fats
Fats on meat, chicken skin, and full fat dairy products and butter are saturated fats.
A 2012 study revealed a regular diet of foods high in saturated fats was linked to a gradual decline in such cerebral activities as cognitive function and memory.
A study of 6,000 women over 65 showed that those women who consumed the highest amounts of saturated fats also had the worst cognitive and memory functions.
Women who consumed diets high in monounsaturated fats for example those in olive oil, peanut butter and avocados had significantly higher cognitive and memory scores.