You keep having “senior moments”iStock/monkeybusinessimages
If you struggle to remember names, dates, or what you ate for breakfast this morning, you might want to take a look at your diet. Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts analyzed the diets of 6,000 women over the age of 65 and found that those who consumed the highest amount of saturated fat had worse overall memory and cognition over four years of testing. Swap out saturated fat-heavy butter and red meat for olive oil and fish, rich in “good” mono- and poly-unsaturated fats, known to help protect against mental decline. These are signs you need to eat more good fats.
Nutrition labels? Who reads those?iStock/gilaxia
Trans fat, the worst type of dietary fat, is the sneakiest because it can hide in plain sight if you don’t know what to look for; and if you throw items in your shopping cart without glancing at the labels, you could ingest way too much. “People might be eating a lot of trans fat without even realizing it, depending on which processed foods they buy,” says Georgia Giannopoulos, RD-AP, CDN, CNSC, a senior dietitian at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell in New York City. Trans fat is often listed on the ingredient list as “partially hydrogenated oil.” It wreaks havoc on your body by increasing the amount of bad LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream and reducing the amount of good HDL cholesterol. It also triggers inflammation, which has been linked to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Foods commonly containing trans fat include packaged items like cookies, crackers, chips, doughnuts, some frozen meals, pie crust, stick margarine, and coffee creamer.