If you are looking to ward off Alzheimer’s, researchers are finding that they are getting closer to understanding the complex dietary considerations with preventing Alzheimer’s disease. The risks of Alzheimer’s are more strongly linked now to dietary habits than ever before.
Researchers summarized the diets of 2,148 adults living in New York, age 65 or older, who did not have dementia. Participants provided information about what they were eating and drinking, and they were assessed for dementia development every 18 months for 4 years.
Interestingly, they linked seven key nutrients, or lack thereof, as being associated with greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease development. Many were beneficial in prevention, namely, monounsaturated fat, fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin E, Vitamin B12 and Folate.
The culprits for increased risk of developing the disease were saturated fatty acids (found in fried foods, margarines, butter, high fat meats) and omega-6 fatty acids, which are found in large quantities in vegetable oils.
Through the period of the study, 253 individuals developed Alzheimer’s disease. The biggest dietary pattern researcher saw for those who did not develop the disease were higher intakes of salad dressing, nuts, fish, tomatoes, poultry, fruits, cruciferous (like broccoli and cauliflower), and dark, green leafy vegetables (like kale, spinach, and bok choy). Also these participants had a lower intake of high-fat dairy, red meat, organ meat, and butter.
Sound familiar? It may be if you have ever looked at eating a more Mediterranean-Style diet. Lots of other researchers are finding the same thing. The combination of nutrients in this type of a diet helps deter the pathways of development of Alzheimer’s. For example, the Vitamin B12 and folate lower the body’s level of homocysteine, which is an amino acid that is suspected to play a role in dementia. Vitamin E also has a strong antioxidant effect, which further helps prevent progression.
You can be sure the study is not tweaked by other factors outside of diet, because the study controlled for other influences, such as smoking and BMI (Body Mass Index).
So if you want to preserve your thinker, a Mediterranean-style diet may work for you. If you are trying to lose weight at the same time, come by our office and we can show you how to implement the healthiest dietary recommendations for weight loss and Alzheimer’s prevention.
To learn more, please call our office at 239-288-2789.