Overdoing it on junk food could be damaging your noggin over time, suggests research published in the journal BMC Medicine. Researchers conducted a study among 250 older adults and found that eating an “unhealthy Western diet” (hamburgers, chips, and soft drinks) was associated with a smaller hippocampus, the area of the brain that’s associated with learning and memory.”Previous research in animals tells us these sort of unhealthy diets lower levels or proteins in the brain that protect it from shrinking,” says Felice Jacka, lead author and associate professor at Deakin University in Australia. “Unhealthy diets were associated with a smaller hippocampus no matter the amount of healthy food consumed, and vice versa.” So if you have a cheat day coming up, keep it to just a meal instead. 

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