Dementia: Three ‘staple’ foods that ‘hamper’ memory and induce cognitive impairment

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Dementia and Alzheimer’s rates are already rampant, but there is overwhelming evidence that their burden will grow further over the next decades. Research into the dementing illnesses has uncovered which foods may hamper cognitive acuity further down the line. Three, in particular, may contribute to rapid cognitive impairment.

Alzheimer’s disease is characterised by a build-up of proteins that thwarts communication between brain cells.

This results in an ongoing decline of cognitive functions that eventually debilitate the lives of sufferers.

There are a number of factors that contribute to this pathology, but according to the Alzheimer’s website, certain foods could be responsible.

“Unfortunately, the foods that hamper memory are common staples in the American diet,” explains the health body.

READ MORE: Parkinson’s disease: Three telltale signs in your voice – list of symptoms

Fortunately, up to 30 percent of cases are thought to be preventable, offering hope that the early impetus to make lifestyle changes could substantially alter the course of mental decline.

Processed cheese

Researchers probing the role of diet have warned that processed dairy products contribute to the formation of damaging plaque in the brain.

Recent findings have suggested that processed foods not only contribute to cognitive decline but speed it up substantially.

In fact, a recent study suggested that the detrimental effects could occur within just four weeks.

But some processed foods may be more harmful than others.

Notably, some dairy foods such as processed cheese may fuel the formation of harmful plaque.

White foods

White staple foods including pasta, cakes, rice and break are deemed equally harmful.

This is because they promote inflammation in the body – one of the hallmarks of neurodegenerative diseases.

In the cases of Alzheimer’s and dementia, inflammation fuels the build-up of plaque in the brain – contributing to the slow degeneration of cognitive functions.


Microwave popcorn is considered particularly harmful because it contains diacetyl, a chemical that increases amyloid plaque in the brain.

The perils of diacetyl were uncovered in one 2012 study that found that dactyl could intensify damaging effects of protein build-up.

Findings also revealed the compound contributed to respiratory problems and lung illnesses.

Brain healthy foods

It has long been known that diets emphasising omega-3 fatty acids are optimal for maintaining a healthy brain.

Recent findings published in the journal Brain Behaviour and Immunity confirmed that these nutrients could counteract the inflammatory effects of processed food.

Foods including nuts, fatty fish, and certain oils could prevent proteins associated with neurodegeneration from misfolding, tangling and forming extracellular plaques.

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