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Beyond Fat, Western Diets Make Us Stupid Too!
The difference between a junk food diet, and a whole food diet, is vast. For example, leafy green veggies are packed with important vitamins such as folate, which has long been known to improve cognitive development. Eating a diet based in whole, plant based foods gives the body a more balanced ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids, which is vital for brain development. Most junk foods have lots of omega-6 but miniscule amounts of omega-3.
This study looked at the overall health effects of junk food consumption, not just isolated nutrients or ingredients, as earlier studies did. This approach proved that it’s vital for children, who are still developing, to consume nutrition from a full-spectrum diet, not simply from processed or junk foods. Adolescence is a critical time for brain development and a poor diet is a significant risk factor during this time period.
Children should be consuming lots of foods and oils that are rich in omega-3s for proper brain development. Good examples of these foods would be butter, cod liver oil, hemp oil, organic, grass fed meats, and skate liver oil. Chia seeds and hemp seeds are also rich in brain healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
That old saying ‘You are what you eat” rings more true today than ever before. Although the body can get some nutrients from junk food, we will not get the micronutrients needed for the repair and growth of cells, it’s that simple.