What if I told you that the food you eat could affect your memory?
Well, it is in fact true.
There are many food products out there in our supermarkets that do actually have an effect on our brain health and our memory. This is why it is very important to read and understand the ingredients listed on all the packaged foods you buy.
We are all living in a very busy world these days and feel rushed in many areas of our lives. So taking a shortcut with our meal preparation becomes a very tempting and often necessary way of life. The purchase of packaged foods and frozen foods has become the norm.
But do you take the time to read the ingredients list?
This is very important and is worth the extra time in the supermarket. After all, you are going to eat this item and, as has been said before, “you are what you eat”.
There is never a better time than now to become familiar with the ingredients listed on the packaged foods you buy, and understand their meaning. Often the printed information is small and may be difficult to read, but persevere!
There are three main areas on the packaging to pay attention to — the ingredients, the nutrition information table and where the product is made.

The ingredients

Among the list of ingredients you would expect to see in the product, are there other words that are difficult to understand or pronounce and numbers in brackets — for example, (422), (541), and (171)?
What do the various numbers in brackets mean? These numbers represent food additives, colourings, preservatives and flavourings. Depending on which particular number it is, it may have harmful effects on your health, especially if it is eaten regularly.
The next time you are in the supermarket, pick up a packet of tortillas, meat pies, stock mix or biscuits, for example. Look at the ingredients and see how many lines there are and how many groups of numbers in brackets there are. The more lines and numbers in brackets there are, you can assume, the worse it is for your health.

The nutritional information

In this table, you are able to find a lot of useful information about the product — for example, the carbohydrate/sugar, protein, fat and sodium (salt) amounts per serving.
It is always important to look at the sugar, salt and fat content, and in particular the saturated fat and trans fats column. Trans fats are unnatural, man made fats that will cause health problems such as diabetes and can affect the blood vessels of your heart, as well as affect your brain health.
It is best to be more aware of these problems when you pick up a packaged item and check it out — where is it made?
What is the amount of sugar, salt and fat content? Are there any trans fats in it?
How many numbers in brackets are there and how many lines are in the ingredients list?
This is just a quick summary of what to look for when you next walk around your supermarket to do your food shopping. Take some time to become more aware of the ingredients that you are putting into your body and, if necessary, make some changes to your food choices.
These changes will help to protect and improve your memory and brain health. ☐