We all know that sugary drinks and processed foods are bad for our physical health, but did you know that they can also take a toll on our mental health? According to a study, certain snacking habits can actually accelerate brain aging.
Here are four snacking habits that are aging your brain faster than you might think.
Consuming Too Much Added Sugar
All those candy bars, cookies, and cake pops are not only bad for your waistline, but they’re also bad for your brain. Eating too much sugar has been linked to memory loss and a decrease in cognitive function.
Eating Chips Straight From the Jumbo Bag
We’ve all been there. You start eating out of a big bag of chips and before you know it, half the bag is gone. While it may seem innocuous, grazing on unhealthy snacks like chips can lead to long-term health problems like obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
And as if that wasn’t enough, recent studies have shown that these conditions can also lead to a decline in cognitive function.
Drinking Liquid Calories
That venti frappuccino from Starbucks might be delicious, but it’s also loaded with sugar and calories. One grande frappuccino packs over 400 calories and 45 grams of sugar. That’s more than double the recommended daily sugar intake. Not only will drinking liquid calories contribute to weight gain, but it will also accelerate aging.
A recent study found that people who drank one or more sodas per day had shorter telomeres—the structures at the end of chromosomes that protect them from wear and tear—than those who didn’t drink soda.
Eating Large Amounts of Processed Foods
Processed foods like frozen dinners and packaged snacks are often high in salt, fat, and calories and low in nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Eating too many processed foods has been linked to weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure, all of which can lead to a decline in cognitive function.