Diets for Alziemher’s

How many posts, articles on eating healthy to avoid this disease or that will it take for you to improve your lifestyle? Well here is another one…

Eating mostly vegetables, low to moderate fruits and grains with moderate proteins (meat, fish, poultry) is the healthiest eating style to keep your brain working and body repairs past 100 years! A strict vegetarian diet is tough for most people to do and adequately keep their protein intake up and the grains (starchy carbs) and sugar down but it can be done. The Mediterranean Diet sill shines through as the most well-rounded eating style for health and longevity. Recently in America the DISH and MIND diets put forth by the more nutrition based medical institutions show that lower blood pressure, increasing brain function can be done with food! They are basically slightly different versions of the Mediterranean Diet. So lets eat more veggies when we are hungry instead of another hamburger or piece of chicken. Lets eat less bread and desserts. A small steak instead of the 16 oz T-bone! Good luck and let me know if I can hel you figure out how to eat for your DNA! Dr. D

Dr. James M. Ellison, MD, MPH. of the Alziehmer’s Institute wrote a short quick guide back in 2019 adn here it is:

Food serves so many important purposes in our lives. Food-related activities bring us together with the people who are important in our lives. Food gives us pleasure, stimulation, and comfort. The behavioral disorders related to food create or sustain terrible distress. Food deficiency or deprivation is a source of great suffering. In so many ways, food can make life better or worse. It can make health better or worse, too.

Much research has been directed at understanding how dietary patterns affect the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and here too food can play a positive, health-improving role…or a destructive and disease-promoting role. The World Health Organization recently concluded that many cases of cognitive decline could be delayed or prevented through adopting a healthier lifestyle.Physical activity, diet, smoking cessation, and attention to chronic medical diseases are all important contributors to healthier cognitive aging. So, what do we know about food and Alzheimer’s disease? 2,3

Foods that May Increase the Risk of Alzheimer’s

First, we know that an unhealthy diet can promote cognitive decline along with other health problems. Scientists have looked at what they call the “Western diet,” a pattern rich in convenient, processed foods and rich in animal products. The typical western diet is high in total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, and processed grains, large amounts of added sugar. This eating pattern has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. A high intake of saturated and trans fats increase the body’s levels of oxidative stress and inflammatory response, harmful processes which contribute to the development of dementia. The take-away message? Cut down on total caloric intake, saturated and trans fats, and sugar.

Foods that May Decrease the Risk of Alzheimer’s

Next, we know that a healthier diet can protect cognitive functioning while also improving other aspects of health. Most of the research on diet and Alzheimer’s has focused on the Mediterranean diet (MD), an eating pattern that emphasizes healthy fats such as olive oil, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, and less dairy food, red meat, butter or margarine, sweetened beverages, and pastries. Moderate wine consumption is included in some, but not all, European and Middle Eastern populations who have adopted the MD.

The DASH Diet

In the United States, concern about lifestyle and rampant high blood pressure led our National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to propose a set of dietary recommendations known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet. The DASH Diet emphasizes many MD components as well as a reduction in overall consumption of carbohydrates and sodium. It has been shown to reduce blood pressure.

The MIND Diet

More recently, the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay Diet, known popularly as the MIND Diet, has been shown to slow down cognitive decline. The MIND Diet takes elements of MD and DASH and recommends dietary focus on the “good” foods such as whole grains, green leafy and other vegetables, berries, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and olive oil while minimizing intake of “bad” foods such as red meats, butter, margarine, cheese, fast foods, and sweets. One study found that adherents to the MIND Diet demonstrated more successful cognitive aging and the MIND Diet provided even better protection against Alzheimer’s disease in this study than the DASH or MD diets.4

Can Vitamins and Supplements Decrease the Risk of Alzheimer’s?

Not all that we eat falls into the category of food, and many vitamins or supplements have also been studied in relationship to Alzheimer’s disease risk. We certainly need enough of the essential vitamins such as folic acid, B12, E, and D. Excessive E or D, however, accumulate in our fat tissues and are not beneficial. Curcumin, omega 3 fatty acids, and cocoa are among the dietary additives still being researched for a deeper understanding of their risks and benefits. A study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association cautioned us that many dietary supplements marketed for the prevention or treatment of cognitive decline are not well supported by credible evidence.5

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