High-Fat Foods Affect Brain Health: UTD Researchers | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

High-Fat Foods Affect Brain Health: UTD Researchers

"Diet really does have a significant impact on your brain, and it degrades brain function," said Dr. Tres Thompson.

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    Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas have found even more proof that you really are what you eat. (Published Monday, Feb. 15, 2016)

    Researchers have found even more proof that you are what you eat.

    A group at the University of Texas at Dallas School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences found a link between chronic high-fat diets and memory loss.

    "Diet really does have a significant impact on your brain, and it degrades brain function," said Dr. Tres Thompson, an associate professor of Neuronal Mechanisms of Memory and Aging at UTD. "What it looks like we're doing with a high-fat diet is aging the brain prematurely."

    Thompson, along with neuroscience doctoral student Erica Underwood, tested their theory on rats. The control groups were fed a diet consisting of 14 percent fat, 64.8 percent carbohydrate, and 21.2 percent rat chow, according to the study. High-fat diet groups were fed 58 percent fat, 25.5 percent carbohydrate, and 16.4 percent protein rat chow.

    Researchers said the animals' cognitive decline started soon after they began consuming a high-fat diet.

    "What we see after the high-fat diet is impairment of that spatial memory," Underwood explained.

    They believe the same thing happens in humans and said the implications for children are huge.

    "The concern is not only for their long-term health — increased risk of heart disease and all sorts of other complications — it's a risk to their long-term mental faculty," said Thompson. "If they're already having trouble in school, as a child, that has long-term consequences."

    The research suggests memory loss can be reversed with an improved diet


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