The foods that will steal your memories

There's the old joke about the man at the bar who drinks to forget what's-her-name -- but if you really want to shed some memories, don't drink.

Eat.

The more junk you eat, the more the junk will eat away at your memory -- and that's why new numbers show that seniors who eat the most carbs have four times the risk of mild cognitive impairment of those who eat the least.

That's four times the risk of dementia's biggest warning sign -- but on the other hand, at least you'll finally forget what's-her-name (along with everything else).

But if you're more interested in holding onto your memories than forgetting an old flame the new study also shows a few easy ways to help make sure you do.

You can start by making sure you get enough healthy fats in your diet -- because it turns out that those fats can cut the risk of mild cognitive impairment by 42 percent.

The key word here, however, is "healthy," not "fats." In other words, sorry -- that bacon double cheeseburger isn't going to do a thing to help your brain, and will almost certainly harm it. Healthy fats include nuts and olive oil, but there's one in particular that will almost always do the trick: fatty fish.

Fish oil has shown before that it can help protect both mood and memory, and that's almost certainly because the brain itself is literally soaked in those same omega-3 fatty acids.

If you're getting those healthy fats, odds are you're getting some healthy proteins, too -- and those proteins can also help keep your memory sharp as a tack. The new study finds that people who eat chicken, meat, and fish have a 21 percent lower risk of mild cognitive impairment.

There's more than just a link between these foods and brain health. Diets high in carbs, for example, can wreck havoc on glucose and insulin. It's the kind of damage that leads to diabetes -- but insulin resistance can also damage blood vessels in the brain and even lead to the brain plaques found in dementia patients.