You often hear of brain foods that you should eat to improve cognitive functions, but what about the stuff you have to avoid? They’re just as important because if you keep eating the wrong food, all the positive effects that you should be getting will be for naught. Without further ado, here they are, the 7 foods you must avoid to keep your brain sharp.
No list of unsuitable food for the brain will be complete without the donut, and why not? It is full of sugar, white flour and many contain trans fat, which is the worst type of fat. Studies show that sugary foods, especially those with trans fat, cause neurological problems and affect memory.
But the bad news doesn’t stop there because donuts also increase the LDL “bad” cholesterol in your body, while at the same time reducing the HDL “good” cholesterol. This not only puts your heart at risk, but you also become vulnerable to being overweight, and as studies show, those who are overweight often feel sluggish and develop concentration problems.
Soda also belongs in the list of worst food for the brain and the body. A single can on average has 150 calories and 10 teaspoons of sugar, usually consisting of high fructose and have a load of artificial colors and preservatives. They usually have 30 to 55 mg of caffeine which helps in terms of keeping you awake and alert. However, the caffeine level is too high and whatever positive effect is diluted by the presence of other unsavory ingredients.
The more sweet sodas you drink, the less you’ll be able to make full use of your brain’s power because the sweeteners and artificial ingredients are mixed in your blood and affect the vital functions of your body, and the brain is not exempted. Furthermore, sodas have been linked to heart disease, tooth decay, obesity, diabetes and other health problems.
Chips and Cookies
A recent study was done on the snack habits of nurses, and the results showed that nurses who ate unhealthy stuff like chocolate chips, cookies and candy 3 times a week committed more cognitive mistakes than nurses who ate healthy foods. What happened? According to the study, chips and cookies reduce your level of alertness and induce fatigue quickly.
But that’s only for starters: when you consume a lot of candies and sugary treats, your body produces insulin to deal with the excess sugar in your body. This negatively affects your cognitive functions and weakens your immune system as well. So not only does your brain power weaken, but your body loses the ability to fight off bacterial and viral infections, any of which could affect your brain.
French Fries and Other Commercial Fried Foods
French fries and other fried foods aren’t good for your heart, and as it turns out, it’s not good for your brain either. According to research at the University Laboratory of Physiology in Oxford, most fried foods have lots of fat or trans fat, and these take the place of healthy fats in your brain.
Every time you eat French fries and other fried junk food, unhealthy fats make their way into your brain and destroy healthy fats. Once these are incorporated in your brain, they interfere with your cognitive functions and affect your ability to memorize, think, and focus.
There is sufficient evidence to prove that fried foods, especially those with trans fat, lead to inflammation and cause arteries to harden. However, that’s not all because, in a study published in the journal Neurology, scientists learned that eating fast food and fried food is connected to brain shrinkage and could cause Alzheimer’s.
In one of those studies, it was established that individuals with high levels of trans fat inside their brain had lower processing skills, poor memory, short attention span and poor comprehension compared to people who don’t have trans fats in their brains.
Egg White Omelet
Egg white omelet is rich in protein yes, but if you don’t eat the yolks you’ll be lacking in choline, an important neuroprotective nutrient. According to the latest studies, individuals that include choline in their diet do better in both visual and verbal tests, and they are less likely to suffer from cognitive failure as they get older.
Fried Non-Fish Seafood
The seafood itself isn’t bad, but most fried lobsters, fried shrimp, oysters, and clams are full of fat, some of which include trans fat and other unhealthy elements. Not only do fried foods increase your risk of heart attack and a spike in cholesterol levels, but this seafood also affects your brain power.
These foods are usually seasoned and flavored with a lot of ingredients that affect the way your brain functions, Moreover, the ingredients in these foods contain oils that interfere with your brain’s natural functions, making it harder for you to engage in critical thinking and concentrate.
This sweetener is known for its high fructose level, and it’s sweeter compared to regular table sugar too. According to a study done by the University of California in Los Angeles, a steady diet of agave nectar negatively affects memory skills in rats, especially when compared to those fed omega 3 fatty acids. According to the researchers, what’s actually happening is the fructose content is so high that it affects the brain’s cell signaling capacity, which is why it is one of the worst brain foods available.
Apart from the top 7, canned foods should also be included on this list because of their high sodium content. Sodium is actually important because it keeps your blood pressure normal, but a study by the Longitudinal Study on Nutrition and Successful Aging showed that canned foods have too much sodium content.
What the study revealed is that individuals with very high sodium content and engaged in minimal exercise perform poorly in cognitive examinations, which is why they belong on the list of worst brain foods you can possibly eat.
If you want to continue the topic and find out what are the best brain foods to eat before taking a test, read this article.