• Memory Health: How Trans Fat Harms

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    Regular consumption of trans fatty acids, saturated fats or sugar can raise levels of harmful LDL cholesterol and turn on inflammatory genes, raising risk for heart attacks, cancer, dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Many factors influence the development of dementia – but an unhealthy diet and a sedentary lifestyle are major contributors to memory problems.

    For instance, a recent study tested the effects of two diets on plasma lipids, insulin levels and visual memory on healthy adults and adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). One diet contained high levels of saturated fat and simple carbs, while the other was low in saturated fat with fewer simple carbs. The latter diet was associated with lowered levels of plasma lipids, insulin levels and markers of free radical injury and inflammation in the brain and spinal cord. Not only that, after just one month of the low saturated fat and simple carbs diet, visual memory improved in both healthy adults and adults with MCI. This study has major implications for the effects of diet on quality of life and brain function.

    There are a number of dietary links between dementia and heart disease. Excessive sugar/processed fructose, grains, and trans fat consumption are three factors that promote both.

    Not surprisingly, recent research has pointed out that heart disease also increases your odds of developing Alzheimer's disease, which is a serious and deadly form of dementia.

    For decades, saturated fats have been demonized as the cause of heart disease. The food industry, responding to such health concerns replaced saturated fats with trans fats, and a whole new market of low-fat (but high-sugar) foods was born.

    Americans' health has plummeted ever since, and there's no telling how many people have been millions have been prematurely killed by this mistake… Making matters worse, genetically engineered soy oil, which is a major source of trans fats, can oxidize inside your body, thereby causing damage to both your heart and your brain.

    Trans Fat Clogs Your Arteries, Not Saturated …

    In addition, very little research is available on the damaging effects of chemical food additives and preservatives. Most of these are classified as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe), but those who classify them often have financial links to the food industry, so no one really knows what we’re dosing ourselves with when we eat them. One very large study from Spain followed 9,000 adults and their nutritional habits and found a direct correlation between fast food intake, development of depression and anxiety, and slow but relentless cognitive decline.

    Other studies from around the world are equally chilling. Tracking more than 12,000 university students over a period of 11 years, researchers from Spain found a correlation between the amount of trans fats in the diet and depression, anxiety, and early cardiovascular disease. A recent Women’s Health Study on more than 6,000 people again found correlation between trans fats and early cognitive decline, memory, and verbal IQ. Other studies have identified comparable correlations with sugar intake and depression, anxiety, and mental decline.

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