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What You Eat May Increase Your Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

What You Eat May Increase Your Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

If you could only watch Sergio Leone westerns (A Fistful of Dollars, Once Upon a Time in the West, My Name is Nobody), that steady diet of macho and mayhem might seem tasty at first, but eventually it could leave you longing for something to feed your imagination.

Well, the same is true of the typical Western diet, loaded with red meats, added sugars and syrups and processed foods. You may think it’s what you enjoy—but it’s a diet that’s got nothing to feed your brain or body!

A study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, looked at the relationship between the eating habits of folks in Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Egypt, India, Mongolia, Nigeria, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka and the United States and the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). It uncovered how mind-numbing the typical Western diet is.

In the U.S. one in nine people 65 and older has Alzheimer’s disease. But the study found switching to a traditional Mediterranean diet (olive oil, meats as side dishes and not every day, lots of fresh vegetables, fruits and fish) cuts your risk of AD in half. And traditional, meat-sparing diets in India, Japan and Nigeria are associated with an additional 50 percent reduction in AD risk.

To protect your brain: Eat 5-9 servings of produce daily; opt for 2-3 servings of fish (salmon is super) weekly; eliminate red meats, added sugars and syrups and processed grains from your diet. That adds up to chasing Alzheimer’s disease off your plate!

Medically reviewed in March 2018.

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