Foods and Drinks That Make You More Forgetful
December 4, 2014
Keep your mind sharp by avoiding these foods
“This processed cheese is high in saturated fat and contains chemical additives, along with artificial flavors and colors.” says Deborah Orlick Levy, M.S., R.D., Carrington Farms health and nutrition consultant. “This combination is unhealthy not only to your body but also to your brain.”
“As much as you might enjoy bacon, any more than one slice at a time could affect your memory," says registered dietician Keri Gans. “Supposedly, consuming more than four grams in a hour of saturated fat can raise the bad cholesterol in your blood and cause inflammation of your brain neurons. A four-ounce serving of bacon can have as much as 15.5 grams of saturated fat.”
“This particular beverage contains nitrates that contribute to inflammation, which, experienced chronically, can contribute to mental decline,” says Elkins. “Heavy and chronic consumption of other alcoholic beverages is also known to contribute to impaired cognitive function and memory loss.”
"Research has shown that a diet high in trans fatty acids may decrease total cerebral brain volume, causing less than favorable cognitive function,” says Gans. “Even though Coffee-mate Original Powder has 0 grams of trans fats, it does contain vegetable oil (partially hydrogenated coconut or palm kernel) as the second ingredient. Therefore, chances are if you are having more than a teaspoon/day, you are consuming trans fats in your daily diet.”
Cookies and Crackers
“Processed foods not only contain high amounts of sodium and fat, contributing to oxidation and inflammation, but they also contain food additives that can cause inflammation for those with sensitivities,” says Elkins.
“Processed meats contain sodium nitrite. This additive has been linked to certain kinds of cancer and also has been known to impact the brain’s ability to think clearly and focus. There can be resulting confusion and impaired memory,” explains Levy.
“Just as fats can cause blockages in our blood flow, they can contribute to plaque build up in our brain and slow of information facilitation as well as dangerous blockages leading to stroke,” states Elkins. “Pastries generally contain high amounts of cholesterol as well, which is a major factor in clotting of the blood.”
“Pound cake typically is made with lots of sugar and saturated fats, states Gans. “For example, a Starbucks Iced Lemon Pound cake has 13 grams saturated fat and 46 grams sugar per slice. Saturated fat may cause your neurons to become inflamed and excess sugar may cause the proteins in your body not to perform well causing your brain to slow down, both resulting in memory loss.”
Sugary Drinks and Soda
“These contribute to high sugar content in the blood. Increased blood sugar can cause both immediate brain fog as well as contribute to increased risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia,” explains Elkins.
“Any of the white foods, like white pasta or bread, can cause a spike in insulin levels in the bloodstream,” says Levy. “This spike in insulin production, and the resulting crash in blood sugar level, can result in an unfocused state of confusion and memory loss.”