Institute of Good Manufacturing Practices India®

(An Autonomous Body Recognized by Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India)

Eating more ultra-processed foods linked to cognitive decline, stroke, as per study

A recent study in Neurology® suggests a link between higher consumption of ultra-processed foods—like soft drinks, chips, and cookies—and elevated risks of memory issues and strokes. However, the study only shows correlation, not causation.

Ultra-processed foods, high in added sugars, fats, and salt, include items like soft drinks, snacks, and canned baked beans. Conversely, unprocessed foods are minimally altered, such as fresh meats and fruits.

The study involved 30,239 participants aged 45 or older, tracked for around eleven years. Analysis revealed a 10% increase in ultra-processed food intake corresponded to a 16% higher risk of cognitive decline. Conversely, higher consumption of unprocessed foods was linked to a 12% lower risk. Similar trends were observed for stroke risk, with a 8% increase associated with ultra-processed food intake and a 9% decrease linked to unprocessed food consumption. Notably, the impact on stroke risk was more significant among Black participants, showing a 15% relative increase.