Did you know…you can slash your risk of Alzheimer’s by almost half with a very simple shift in your diet?
If you’re concerned about your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, it’s time to pass on the muffins. An Alzheimer’s prevention diet means you’ll also want to curb consumption of cake, bread, pasta, and other high carbohydrate foods.
That’s because in a news release on October 16, Mayo Clinic announced that senior citizens who consumed a high carb diet were more likely to suffer from MCI (mild cognitive impairment), a condition that often progresses into Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
The Connection Between MCI and Alzheimer’s
The main symptom of MCI, like Alzheimer’s, is memory loss that is apparent to the individual as well as to those around them. The difference is that those with MCI do not have other dementia symptoms such as significant shifts in mood and personality.
Not everyone with MCI develops Alzheimer’s, explained Rosebud Roberts, M.B., Ch.B., a professor of epidemiology at the Mayo Clinic and leader of the study. However, many do.
Roberts and others believe it’s crucial to identify and treat individuals who may be in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Early intervention gives dementia treatments the greatest chance of success.
The Best—And Worst—Foods for Your Brain
The Mayo Clinic study on the link between diet and dementia (published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease) began with more than 1,200 participants between the ages of 70 and 89.
Of that initial group, the 940 who displayed no evidence of existing MCI were included in the study. By the time the study ended, 200 of the participants had begun to show signs of MCI—specifically, problems with memory…speaking…thinking…and judgment.
For 4 years, participants detailed their eating habits while researchers tracked and evaluated key areas of concern. Ultimately researchers uncovered the following facts:
- Those whose who naturally incorporated an Alzheimer’s prevention diet eating high levels of protein reduced their risk of MCI by 21%.
- Individuals whose diets had the highest level of healthy fats reduced their risk of MCI by 42%.
- A high carb diet may be a greater risk for MCI due to elevated glucose levels.
Your brain needs glucose to function. But researchers say too much glucose can cause plaques to develop that damage blood vessels in the brain. Controlling glucose levels appears to be one of the most powerful ways to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s Prevention Diet Decrease Your Risk Today
Statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) show that Alzheimer’s disease is the 5th highest cause of death for those over age 65.
Currently, there is no cure for this tragic and costly disease. The takeaway from the Mayo Clinic study, however, is that Alzheimer’s may be preventable. Along with reducing your consumption of a high carb diet, add foods that are rich in protein and “good fats.”
Eating better can’t guarantee that you won’t get Alzheimer’s, but it sure won’t hurt!