Your brain is arguably the most important organ in your body. Sure, there are several others that you can’t live without, but the brain controls them all. And not only does it keep your heart beating and your lungs breathing all the time, it is also the repository of everything that makes you, you. All your thoughts, feelings, and memories originate or reside in the brain. Obviously, it is important to keep this most vital organ happy and healthy. Proper nutrition can mean the difference between a clear head with a sense of purpose and a foggy head with a sense of desperation. As a lifelong habit, healthy eating also slows the rate of aging-related cognitive decline and reduces the risk of developing dementia. On the flip side, there are foods that are just the worst for your brain. Indulge too often and you will likely experience confusion, low mood, and slowed reaction times. In a vicious cycle, a depressed brain has poor ability to make the right decisions in order to improve. If you know you have some bad habits, it is time to start scaling back. Your brain won’t like a massive dietary overhaul all at once, and even though you know it’s the right choice, you’ll struggle to maintain it. Instead, remove the following 7 items from your diet one by one, making a gradual shift that will protect the health of your brain for the long haul. The easiest one to quit is probably #7.
The good news is that not all fats are bad for you. However, a particular kind of fat called trans fat does have a detrimental effect on the brain. Trans fats are found naturally in animal products including meat and dairy, but even these are not as problematic as the industrially produced trans fats that get pumped into all sorts of packaged foods. Otherwise known as hydrogenated oil, people who eat a lot of trans fat in the form of margarine, store-bought baked goods, chips and crackers, frozen and canned meals, and creamy beverages are at a greater risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia. Studies have shown that high consumption of trans fats also leads to earlier cognitive decline, lower brain volume, and poorer memory.