Ready meals can raise risk of memory loss, says scientific study. There’s more reason to grouse. Apart from preservatives and additives affecting your physical health, ready meals can raise your risk of memory loss, a new study has found. It is learnt that what you eat is important for you brain as it depends completely on glucose for its fuel. It does not have the ability to break down fat or protein. It requires a lot of glucose when you are concentrating hard. So don’t skip meals. In fact, it’s best for your brain when you eat small, frequent meals.

Keep your blood sugar level even by eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish such as salmon, as well as in walnuts, flaxseed, and canola oil, are also thought to have some benefit to the brain, perhaps because of their anti-inflammatory effect. Fats called trans-fats are used to improve taste, texture and shelf-life of processed food. There are the complete opposite of healthy nourishing food. These have previously been linked with an increased risk of heart disease and there is mounting pressure on food firms to remove them.

New research shows eating large amounts of trans-fats leads to poorer memory in men aged 45 and under. Experts warned that while trans-fats increase the shelf life of foods, they reduce the shelf life of people.

Men whose diets contained the highest levels of the fats recalled 12 fewer words in a memory test than those who avoided them, according to the study published in journal Public Library of Science ONE.

The trend was only significant for men.But scientists said this may only have been due to the small number of women participants in the same age group.

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The link was not seen in older populations, possibly because it was masked by the effects of age on memory. In fact, trans-fats were most strongly linked to worse memory in men during their high productivity years.Trans-fat consumption has previously shown adverse associations to behavior and mood -other pillars of brain function.However, a relation to memory or cognition had not been shown. The research used data from an analysis of 1,018 men and women who were asked to complete a dietary survey and take part in word recall memory tests.

On average, men aged 45 and younger were able to recall 86 words in the tests. But for each additional gram of trans-fat they consumed each day, their performance reduced by a statistical 0.76 words.

This translated to young men being able to recall around 12 fewer words if their trans-fat consumption matched the highest levels seen in the study, said the scientists.

In Denmark, almost all trans-fats have been banned since 2003, but in the UK their removal depends on food manufacturers signing up to a voluntary scheme.

Multinational fast food outlets stopped cooking fries in trans-fats more than a decade ago. Their menus say all their fried food is now free of trans-fats. But there is currently no ban in the UK on companies including trans-fats in some of their processed food products like frozen pizzas, pies and ready meals.

Trans-fats are also used by some takeaways when making fried chicken.

UK Government sources insisted there were no plans to introduce a ban on trans-fats here because consumption is already much lower than in the US.A Department of Health spokeswoman said: “We have significantly reduced levels of artificial trans fats in foods by working with the industry.””The latest data show that the daily intake of trans-fats in the UK was below one per cent of food energy, in line with expert advice. Tackling obesity and improving people’s health through good nutrition continues to be a major priority for this government.”

Dr Alison Tedstone, Chief Nutritionist at Public Health England, added: “Our surveys show that intakes of trans fats continue to fall in the UK and are well within recommended levels.

“This reflects the positive efforts of food manufacturers and retailers to remove artificial trans fats from their products. The majority of trans fat in our diets now comes from natural sources in meat and milk.”

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