health

Alzheimer's disease – foods and drinks to avoid to reduce risk, according to study


Research into Alzheimer’s is ongoing and complex, but new data suggests the disease could be linked to diet. Avoiding unhealthy food and drink may be crucial in lowering your risk

Doctor viewing CT scan result of brain on digital tablet for abnormalities
Professor Gwenaëlle Douaud and colleagues from Oxford University investigated changes in the brains of 785 participants

A new study has concluded that avoiding certain unhealthy food and drinks could be crucial in holding back the onset of a type of dementia.

Joint research by teams in the USA and Switzerland and suggests a balanced, healthy lifestyle could help fight Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s is one of the most researched and funded diseases, with the Federal Alzheimer’s and Dementia Funding reaching $3.1 billion (£2.4bn) annually alone.

It is still a burgeoning field of research, with new information coming out all the time.

However, this new research should be encouraging, as it suggests steps people can take to prevent the disease developing.

The researchers said: “This investigation suggests that a prolonged life expectancy owing to a healthy lifestyle is not accompanied by an increased number of years living with Alzheimer’s dementia.”

Here is everything you need to know about the new research.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

Alzheimer’s is a type of dementia that impacts memory.

It also affects behaviour and thinking and becomes so severe that it impacts daily life of the sufferers.

What does the new research say?







Eating healthy foods could prevent the onset of dementia
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Image:

Getty Images/Westend61)

The new research analysed 2,449 pensioners who signed up to the Chicago Health and Ageing Project (CHAP) way back in 1993.

It looked at many different facts in a person’s lifestyle that may or may not have led to the onset of Alzheimer’s.

The takeaway data was that the participants who followed a healthier diet were more likely to avoid the disease long term.

The results showed that those who followed this kind of lifestyle were able to live longer and that the extra years did not promote cognitive decline.

It wasn’t just food consumption though, as healthy participants didn’t smoke and drank only low amounts of alcohol.

They also did many brain-stimulating activities such as reading, puzzles and crosswords.

The study found that the approximate age for dementia onset among healthy men is 86, compared to 80 for unhealthy males.

Similar is true for women, 86 for healthy women and 81 for unhealthy participants.

What foods and drinks should be avoided?







The research suggests avoiding unhealthy meals such as fast food
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Image:

Alamy Stock Photo)

Essentially, it is just the same as following a balanced diet.

Over consumption of fast food, high fat meals and sugary foods was linked to the disease.

However, those who abstained from drinking, smoking and followed a fruit- and veg-filled diet were much less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s from an earlier age.

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