We all know that eating too much, or the wrong things, can clog your arteries. But it turns out that a bad diet may also clog up your memory.
A new study by the Mayo Clinic found that overeating can more than double the risk for memory loss among the elderly.
Researchers studied the eating and drinking habits of 1,200 people between 70 and 89 not diagnosed with dementia. They were split into three groups: one with participants who consumed 600 to 1,500 calories a day, another who consumed between 1,500 and 2,100 calories, and the final with participants consuming 2,100 to 6,000 calories a day.
The results were clear. Those in the group who ate 2,100 calories or more had double the risk for dementia or Alzheimer’s than those who ate 1,500 calories or less.
"We observed a dose-response pattern which simply means the higher the amount of calories consumed each day, the higher the risk," study author Dr. Yonas E. Geda said in a written statement. "Cutting calories and eating foods that make up a healthy diet may be a simpler way to prevent memory loss as we age.”
No significant risk was found in the middle group, suggesting that keeping calories below 2,100 a day reduces risk for a cognitive disease. The study will be presented to the American Academy of Neurology in April.