(Natural News) Your physical and mental health are closely intertwined. If you follow a healthy diet, you can significantly improve your overall well-being. Conversely, if you follow a diet full of processed food and soda, you will increase your likelihood of getting dementia, according to multiple studies.
Consuming a lot of complex carbohydrates, processed foods, and sugar stimulates the production of toxins in the body. These toxins can then cause a buildup of plaque in the brain, which may cause inflammation. Experts believe chronic inflammation is often linked to disorders such as dementia.
Junk food and dementia
Sadly, not many people realize the importance of a healthy diet. When you eat lean meat, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables, and seeds, you can boost your heart health, lower the risk of conditions like cancer and diabetes, manage blood pressure, and prevent various illnesses.
On the other hand, poor nutrition can negatively affect your memory and increase your risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
According to several studies, which were published in the journals Alzheimer’s & Dementia and Stroke, individuals who often consume sugary beverages tend to have poorer memory. The researchers also warned that these people can also have smaller brain volume and a smaller hippocampus, the an area of the brain that is crucial for learning and memory. (Related: Elevated blood sugar levels have a DIRECT relationship with brain shrinkage.)
Additionally, a follow-up study about diet soda and dementia revealed that individuals who consume diet soda daily were three times more likely to develop stroke and dementia when compared to those who did not.
Dr. Matthew Pase, a neurologist at the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), explained that the excess sugar from these beverages can result in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases such as heart disease, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes.
Sudha Seshadri, a professor of neurology at BUSM and a faculty member at Boston University’s Alzheimer’s Disease Center, warned that consuming sugary beverages doesn’t have any health benefits. Seshadri added that replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners can also be bad for your mental health.
In a separate study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, researchers analyzed data from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and cognitive test results conducted on individuals who drank more than two sugary beverages (like fruit juice, soda, and soft drinks) or three servings of soda per week. The findings showed signs of accelerated brain aging that were risk factors for early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.
For another study, which was published in Stroke, researchers worked with participants who suffered a stroke or were diagnosed with dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease. The scientists monitored the volunteers based on their beverage intake. Based on the study findings, sugary beverages and stroke or dementia aren’t correlated. However, the researchers advised that individuals who consumed a diet soda per day were three times more likely to develop stroke and dementia.
Foods that cause dementia
Aside from diet soda and other sugary beverages, the foods and drinks included in the list below may cause dementia or Alzheimer’s.
- Beer – Beer has nitrites that may cause Alzheimer’s disease.
- Fried foods – When fried foods are heated, they release advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which are associated with the development of Alzheimer’s.
- Microwave popcorn – Microwave popcorn contains diacetyl that can increase amyloid plaques in the brain. Plaque and inflammation are linked to dementia.
- Processed cheese – Eating processed cheese (e.g., Cheez Whiz or American cheese) can cause Alzheimer’s.
- Processed meats –Processed meat (e.g., bacon and ham) has nitrosamines that can make your liver produce fats that are toxic to the brain.
- White foods – This includes foods like white bread, rice, and sugar. It also includes cake and pasta, which can cause a spike in insulin production and send toxins to your brain.
Avoid the toxic foods listed above and make healthy food choices to lower your risk of developing dementia.
Read more about ways to avoid toxic foods at StopEatingPoison.com.