Junk food fans, beware: Research says cakes and biscuits may lead to worse memory

More bad news for junk food lovers: A study has found that eating biscuits, cakes and processed foods could have a harmful effect on memory.

Researchers found that the trans fats in these processed foods were linked to people having worse memory.

A study conducted with 1,000 healthy men aged under 45 shows that those who ate the most trans fat - which is used to improve the texture, shelf life or flavour of processed foods - had bad scores in a word memory test.

The relationship between trans fat consumed and memory remained even after age, education and depression were accounted for.

Study leader Dr Beatrice Golomb, of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, said: "Trans fats were most strongly linked to worse memory, in young and middle-aged men, during their working and career-building years."

The research subjects were asked to complete a dietary questionnaire - from which the researchers estimated participants' trans fat consumption.

"Trans fats reduce the shelf life of people"

The participants were then presented with a series of 104 cards showing words.

They then had to state whether each word was new or a word duplicated from a previously seen card. 

For those who ate the most trans fats, they recalled 11 fewer words than those who ate the least trans fat.

Dr Golomb added: "As I tell my patients, while trans fats increase the shelf life of food, they reduce the shelf life of people."

Another danger: They also increase the risk of heart disease.

So if you want to avoid eating trans fats, look out for food carrying labels from Singapore's Health Promotion Board:

Sources: Daily Mail, Health Promotion