Three diets that could reduce Alzheimer’s risk – and one to avoid

Dr Hilary lists the early symptoms of dementia

ZOE, partially spearheaded by Tim Spector – a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London – documented the latest evidence on diet and dementia.

“Scientists are still fleshing out the links between nutrients, dietary patterns, and dementia,” contributor Alexandra Sanfins, PhD, verified.

“There’s no set-in-stone, evidence-based anti-Alzheimer’s diet. We’re not there yet.”

But evidence does point towards what might hinder and help minimise your risk of the condition.

A recent review of 38 studies, published in the leading journal Frontiers in Neuroscience, concluded that a Western diet is a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease – the most common form of dementia.

READ MORE… New study finds troubling risk factor for dementia – ‘everybody’ at risk

Such a diet is characterised by foods high in the glycemic index, such as “baguettes, potatoes, and white bread” that are broken down quickly by the body, causing a rapid increase in blood sugar levels.

“These foods and drinks seem to cause more protein buildups in people with a gene called APOE-e4,” Sanfins confirmed.

“Having one copy of this gene increases your risk of developing Alzheimer’s, and having two copies increases it further.”

A healthier diet, on the other hand, could possibly reduce a person’s risk of dementia.

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Under the spotlight are three healthy choices: the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet, and the MIND diet.

An earlier review, published in Neurological Sciences, found that adhering to the Mediterranean diet is linked to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s.

The diet – full of vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, olives and olive oil – is said to reduce inflammation and oxidation; both of which are central to Alzheimer’s progression.

As for the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, which effectively reduces high blood pressure, it’s possible it could also reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

Also rich in vegetables and whole grains, the DASH diet also consists of fruits and low-fat dairy.

The authors of the same review suspect the DASH diet also reduces inflammation and oxidative stress.

Then there’s the MIND diet, which combines both the Mediterranean diet and DASH diet.

The main focus of this type of diet includes:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Other vegetables
  • Berries
  • Whole grains
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Olive oil.

This type of diet also limits red meat, sweets, pastries, cheeses, fried food, butter, and margarine.

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