Health Updates

Higher Intake of Protein and Fat at Breakfast Helps Lower Cognitive Decline

A study has discovered that older adults who have higher intakes of protein and fat and lower consumption of carbohydrates at breakfast appear to have a lower rate of cognitive decline.

Photo: Higher Intake of Protein-Rich Food | InStyleHealth

Researchers included 2,935 participants aged 55-93 years at baseline from the China Health and Nutrition Survey to examine the correlations between energy and macronutrient intakes at breakfast and cognitive declines. Cognition was assessed in 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006, and 2015. Weighing methods combined with 24-hour food records were used to evaluate dietary intake.

Breakfast contributed to 25.9% of total energy intake of the day; percentages of breakfast energy intake were 12.8% from protein, 11.5% from fat, and 75.7% percent from carbohydrates.

Over a median follow-up of 9 years, the β values for changes in global cognitive z-scores for quintile 5 of protein and fat intakes at breakfast, relative to quintile1 , were 0.13 and 0.17 correspondingly.

The replacement of 5% energy from carbohydrates with equivalent energy from protein or fat at breakfast positively associated with change in the global cognitive z-score. Energy intake at breakfast did not significantly associate with the global cognitive z-score. Similar outcomes were noted for the verbal memory z-score.

Positive correlation of breakfast fat intake and the inverse correlation of breakfast carbohydrate intake with cognitive declines were more robust in individuals living in urban areas.

Researchers stated that substitution of carbohydrates with protein or fat intake at breakfast may help in delaying or prevent cognitive declines.


Source: Am J Clin Nutr 2021;113:1093-1103

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