Tags: fat | memory | mental | health

‘Good’ fats Boost Memory, Mental Health

Tuesday, 22 May 2012 11:15 AM

Eating foods containing "bad" fats -- such as trans fats and saturated fats – is bad for your heart as well as your brain. But new research from Brigham and Women's Hospital has found "good" mono-unsaturated fats – found in nuts, olive oil and other foods -- may improve brain function and memory.
This study, published online in the journal Annals of Neurology, is based on an analysis of information from the Women's Health Study — a long-running research project involving nearly 40,000 women, 45 years and older.
For the study, researchers tracked the dietary habits and health records of 6,000 women who participated in tests of memory and cognitive function.
"When looking at changes in cognitive function, what we found is that the total amount of fat intake did not really matter, but the type of fat did," said Dr. Olivia Okereke, of Brigham and Women’s Department of Psychiatry.
Women who consumed the highest amounts of saturated fat – found in red meat and butter -- had lower overall cognition and memory scores than those who consumed the lowest amounts. Women who ate the most mono-unsaturated fats had higher cognitive scores.
"Our findings have significant public health implications," said Okereke, noting declines in cognitive functioning can lead to higher risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer disease. "Substituting in the good fat in place of the bad fat is a fairly simple dietary modification that could help prevent decline in memory."
This was funded, in part, by the National Institutes of Health.

© HealthDay

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Mono-unsaturated fats found in nuts, olive oil and other healthy items are brain food.
Tuesday, 22 May 2012 11:15 AM
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