Stay away from red meat, sweets to avoid cognitive decline

  • IANS, Toronto
  • Updated: May 12, 2015 17:22 IST

Want to avoid the risk of cognitive decline with ageing? Eat healthy. A new research says, people having healthier diets with higher quantities of vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, soy products and moderate alcohol intake, are likely to have a super brain even as they age.

A team from Ontario-based McMaster University tracked the health and habits of 28,000 people who were taking part in two international studies across 40 countries.

Researchers found that of the 5,700 people with the healthiest diets, 14% had not developed cognitive decline.

On the other hand, in the 5,460 people with the least healthy diets, about 18% of them experienced cognitive decline. The unhealthy foods were red meat, deep-fried items and sweets. It may not sound like a big difference but there is about a 24% reduction in risk for the people on healthy diets.

"Consumption of 'healthy' choices may be beneficial but the effect may be reduced with the consumption of 'unhealthy' choices," Forbes reported, quoting the researchers.

For example, the beneficial effect of fruit may be lost if prepared with high amounts of fats or sugars.

"Our data suggest an overall healthy diet is more important than the consumption of any one particular food," study author Andrew Smyth emphasised.

Healthy diets are rich in antioxidants and are excellent for the brain health.

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