Study: Eating Junk Food May Shrink Your Brain

Two human faces one made of fresh green vegetables and fruit and the other head shaped with greasy fast food as hamburgers

Lifestyle choice and dilemma concept as a two human faces one made of fresh green vegetables and fruit and the other head shaped with greasy fast food as hamburgers and fried foods as a symbol of nutrition facts and healthy living issues.

No doubt, kicking the urge for some junk food is no joke– since it’s specifically designed to taste ultra-rewarding, that some even consider it as a comfort food!

Though, have you noticed that your brain is feeling a little weak lately? That you’re becoming more and more forgetful every day?

If you’ve been binging on fast food every time you can, it’s probably because of that!

Based on a recent study, those who routinely consume high-sodium snacks, sugary drinks, and processed meat have smaller left hippocampi.

This is the area of the brain responsible for mental health, learning, and memory. In simpler terms, believe it or not, burgers and fries could shrink your brain!

A study that was recently published in BMC Medicine compared the MRI scans of about 250 people who were in their early 60s.

Based on the dietary questionnaires, the participants were separated into two groups: people with a “western diet” and people who opt for a “prudent” diet.

What is a “western diet”? It is a diet that was high in fats, processed foods, sugar, and salt.

On the other hand, a “prudent” diet is primarily composed of vegetables, fruits, and fish.

It was discovered that those who follow a healthy diet have a larger hippocampus as compared to those who live on fast foods.

Furthermore, this correlation remained constant even when the researchers focused on education, gender, age, labor-force status, medication, depressive symptoms, hypertension, diabetes, and physical activity.

Although this study was conducted among seniors, it’s safe to assume that healthy eating should be practiced at a very early age, since the hippocampus also generates new cells.

The hippocampus is essential because it plays a huge role in healthy memory functioning. Wherein, those who have their hippocampus removed will be unable to retain or store new memories.

That’s why the diet and hippocampus connection may be the reason why the rate of Alzheimer’s continues to increase.

Of course, reports like this may be frightening, especially if you love eating trans-fat laden, sugar coated pastries.

Will this make your brain shrink?

If done in moderation, probably not.

However, you should also do your best to include healthy foods in your diet– foods rich in antioxidants, omega 3s, and other essential vitamins and minerals, and refrain from overeating those unhealthy ones.

So next time you want to indulge on those junk foods, think again.

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In Category: Health

Nick Donovan

Nick is nutrition enthusiast who is dedicated to finding ways to make healthy eating, and proper exercise, a habit in your life.

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  • Ian May 25, 2017, 10:50 am

    But it’s tasty!

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