The Link Between Diet and Dementia

It is not the latest news to speak on diet’s relation to total health. With such prominent research highlighting the link between diet and dementia, the data and recommendations should not go unnoticed!

It is not the latest news to speak on diet’s relation to total health. Diet modifications are continuously stressed for maintaining weight, promoting heart health, managing Celiac disease, and treating other health conditions.

But when it comes to brain health, diet tends to become overlooked, especially as overweight, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease continue to rise. And while dementia may be less common, the terminal disease still exists, compromises life quality, and deserves considerable recognition and response.

With such prominent research highlighting the link between diet and dementia, the data and recommendations should not go unnoticed!

What Is Dementia?

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.”

Commonly, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are often used interchangeably, though dementia itself is not a specific condition but a descriptive term to describe various symptoms that follow cognitive declination, including the impairment of memory, communication, attention, judgment, and visual perception.

To clear the confusion, Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia and the most common, accounting for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Nonetheless, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are caused when brain cells are impaired, either from a neurodegenerative disease, brain injury and tumor, uncontrolled health condition, and even poor diet.

Connecting the Link Between Diet and Dementia

Although the causes of dementia are perplexing, current research points to a wide variety of dietary and lifestyle factors. Current research links dementia risk to…

…processed foods.

Specifically, the Alzheimer’s Association links an increased risk related to the intake of processed cheeses and meats. Proteins from the cheese are suggested to build up within the body while meat releases nitrosamine, both of which may be harmful to the brain.  

…high blood pressure.

Warned in a new statement published by the American Heart Association, high blood pressure may increase dementia probability. When blood pressure is high, blood vessel structure and function are compromised, subsequently hardening the arteries and diminishing adequate blood flow to all body parts including the brain.

Fluctuations in blood pressure levels may also lead to a faster decline in cognition among seniors. With lifestyle playing a large role in blood pressure control, the DASH Diet, consistent exercise, and stress-reduction techniques may reduce dementia risk.

…elevated blood glucose and cholesterol.

Elevations in both blood sugar and cholesterol have been suggested to raise the likelihood of dementia. Requiring boundless attention, the rise of diabetes continues to grow and heart disease is the leading cause of death in Westernized countries.

The growth of both health conditions is concerning, especially related to its influence and link to dementia. Control the primary to reduce the secondary with everything you need to know about diabetes and heart health.

…calcium supplementation.

Calcium is a critical mineral for bone heath and other valuable body processes. However, opposing research now implies older women’s risk of dementia is significantly heightened if taking a calcium supplement following a stroke or preventing or treating osteoporosis.

Ultimately, speaking with a physician can help determine whether or not a calcium supplement is right for you. And if concerned about the speculated consequences of supplementation, find calcium-containing food sources and intake recommendations here.

…overweight and obesity.

A study following 8,000 people for 23 years found that people with a higher percentage of body fat had a three-fold higher likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s in that 23 years.

Another study following 10,000 people found that middle-aged overweight had a 35 percent higher likelihood of developing dementia whereas those who were obese had a 74 percent higher likelihood of developing dementia.

…a sedentary lifestyle.

Diet and exercise go hand-in-hand for health optimization. Increasing research continues to acknowledge exercise is not only beneficial to physical health, but mental health as well.

A recent study highlighted sedentary seniors are more likely to suffer from mental decline. And with exercise also contributing to normalizing and controlling blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose control, dismissing a sedentary lifestyle remains encouraged throughout the life stages.

Connecting the Link with Silver Cuisine

Without a doubt, diet plays a large role in health, including the development of dementia. Silver Cuisine understands the hardships that come with life, especially as age advances.

Whether related to a decreased desire to prepare nutritious meals or needed assistance to control health conditions, Silver Cuisine delivers well-balanced, flavorful meals straight to your doorstep.

General healthy aging is important to Silver Cuisine, so let us enrich your wellbeing and life quality today! Find more information at Silver Cuisine.

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Our team of dietitians, chefs and fitness experts love to share helpful information and tips to make living your best life as easy as possible. We stand for longer and healthier living through what we eat and how we live.