Harvard Health Letter

Protect your brain with "good" fat

"Bad" fat may affect memory and cognitive function.

If you need further proof that what contributes to a healthy heart also makes for a healthy brain, a Brigham and Women's Hospital study published in Annals of Neurology offers evidence. Researchers found that one bad dietary fat in particular—saturated fat, found in foods such as red meat and butter—may be especially harmful to your brain.

Compared with those who consumed the least amount of saturated fat, "women who had the highest consumption of saturated fat had the worst memory and cognition over time," says Dr. Olivia Okereke, lead author of the study and assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

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