Scientists warn these 14 everyday foods could be giving you brain damage

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New research suggests that even the occasional “cheat meal” could lead to long-lasting brain damage as scientists reveal 14 foods that people should be wary of.

According to scientists from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia, a diet of “clean” eating with some junk food could affect brain functions in rats.


During the experiment, the rats which ate a mostly healthy diet and only sometimes snacked on high-sugar and saturated-fat foods, showed significant cognitive impairment in tests of spatial memory.

Spatial memory allows people to remember where things are both on a short-term and long-term basis.

Spatial memory allows people to remember where things are both on a short-term and long-term basis

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“We think this sort of work is critical to get us to think about maintaining the health of our brain into old age,” neuroscientist and lead author Professor Margaret Morris from UNSW said.

Scientists say the research, which was published in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, provides new evidence on the dangerous effects of even a small amount of unhealthy food.

According to the British Nutrition Foundation, there are a number of foods high in fat and sugar which people should eat less of, these include: Chocolate, sweets, cakes, biscuits, puddings, pastries, jams, butter, crisps, ice cream, fried foods, sweet drinks, gravy, mayo.

The new study adds to previous research which found a link between poor diet and memory loss.

The rats were split into four groups: a healthy control group of 12 which were fed standard rat food, compared to three groups of 12 rats which all ate a mix of healthy and processed food high in fat and sugar.

Before the experiment began, each rat was weighed and their long and short term memories were tested and the same was repeated after.

The rats who ate the most fatty and sugary foods performed the worst in memory tests.

While rats who ate a high-fat, high-sugar diet for a long time gained more weight than the rats in the control group.

During the experiment, the rats which ate a mostly healthy diet and only sometimes snacked on high-sugar and saturated-fat foods, showed significant cognitive impairment in tests of spatial memory

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Other studies have also suggested good nutrition reduces disease risk.

“If we can maintain a healthy diet – such as the Mediterranean-type diet with high diversity, fruits, vegetables, low saturated fats, good proteins – we have a better chance of preserving our cognition,” Prof Margaret added.

As part of healthy diet changes, the foundation advises people to use low-fat plain yogurt instead of cream when cooking and to try wholegrain breakfast cereals.

And instead of puddings, cakes, and pastries opt for fruit loaf, scones or fruit.