While ultra-processed foods might make prepping for the holidays a little quicker, they might have a detrimental impact on cognitive health in the long run.

A new study published in JAMA Neurology found that people could be at a higher risk of cognitive decline if more than 20% of their daily caloric intake is ultra-processed foods. That’s about 400 calories a day in a diet of 2,000 calories a day. The part of the brain involved in executive functioning — the ability to process information and make decisions — is especially impacted by the risk of cognitive decline, according to the study.

Researchers defined ultra-processed foods as “industrial formulations of food substances (oils, fats, sugars, starch, and protein isolates) that contain little or no whole foods and typically include flavorings, colorings, emulsifiers and other cosmetic additives. These foods include fries, cheeseburgers, frozen pizza, hot dogs, sausages, sodas, cookies, cakes, candy, doughnuts and ice cream.

In addition to cognitive decline, ultra-processed foods can be linked to an increased risk in obesity, heart and circulation problems, diabetes, cancer and a shorter life span.

Read the full article HERE.