Nutrition

How do ultra-processed foods (UPF’s) impact long-term brain health?

Dr Frank Lipman
Dec 19, 2022

Did you know that research suggests UPF consumption may increase the risk for dementia? UPF’s are extremely processed foods consisting of starches, added sugars, additives and unhealthy fats such as candy, cookies, chips and soda.

Study Summary

The study, which included 72,083 individuals, found that:

  • Those who consumed 28% of their daily calories from UPF’s had a significantly higher risk for dementia than those who only consumed 9% of their daily calories from UPF’s.
  • Researchers suggested that a substitution of 10% of UPF for healthy foods resulted in a 19% reduced risk for dementia.

Those who experienced nightmares were also at higher risk for dementia.

The Hearty Take

The consensus of research indicates that UPF’s are extremely detrimental for health. However, this study shows the power of replacing these foods with healthier alternatives. When you go grocery shopping your focus should be on the produce aisles. Focus on consuming a diet rich in whole plant based foods and steering clear of packaged goods - reach out to your dietitian for personalized nutrition advice!

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