How fat can protect your memory
Whenever you hear
the word "fat" it always sounds like a negative, doesn't it ? But there
are positive benefits from fat, and one of those may be better memory --
if you eat the right kind of fat.
A recent study in Italy found that a diet high in monounsaturated
fatty acids (MUFAs) protects against memory loss and the decline of
brain functions often associated with aging.
This could be because mono-saturated fatty acids are part of brain
membranes, and researchers say that as people age, their bodies need
more unsaturated fatty acids.
The study confirmed earlier findings that a higher education level
protected against a decline in brain function with aging. However, it
also showed that a high intake of MUFAs helped protect those with a
lower education level.
The study took place in Italy where one of the most common MUFAs,
olive oil, is a large part of the diet. Researchers examined nearly 300
healthy elderly people who reported eating a typical Mediterranean diet
with 17.6 percent of their total calories coming from mono-unsaturated
fatty acids. Olive oil accounted for 85 percent of those MUFAs.
Adding a little olive oil to your diet may be an easy and delicious
way to protect your memory, and you may protect yourself from other
health problems as well. Studies have found that olive oil may protect
against heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. It is particularly
effective at improving cholesterol levels. In fact, adding olive oil to
a low-fat diet produces better cholesterol results than just cutting out
Mono-unsaturated fatty acids can be found in other kinds of oils,
too, including sesame, corn, sunflower, soybean, and cotton-seed. Just
remember that if you add olive oil or other MUFAs to your diet, you need
to balance out your fat intake by reducing your intake of saturated