Dietary guidelines for Alzheimer’s prevention
While Alzheimer’s disease affects nearly half of North Americans by age 85, it will triple over the next four decades unless preventive measures are developed, warned the American Academy of Neurology. By 2050, Alzheimer’s rates will affect 100 million people worldwide.
Although treatments for the disease remain unsatisfactory, scientific studies suggest that preventive strategies are now feasible.
According to a special report presented at the International Conference on Nutrition and the Brain in Washington on July 19 and 20, 2013, the seven dietary principles to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s are as follows:
1. Minimize your intake of saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fat is found primarily in dairy products, meats, and certain oils (coconut and palm oils). Trans fats are found in many snack pastries and fried foods and are listed on labels as “partially hydrogenated oils.”
2. Vegetables, legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), fruits, and whole grains should be the primary staples of the diet.
3. One ounce of nuts or seeds (one small handful) daily provides a healthful source of vitamin E.
4. A reliable source of vitamin B12, such as fortified foods or a supplement providing at least the recommended daily allowance (2.4 mcg per day for adults) should be part of your daily diet.
5. When selecting multiple vitamins, choose those without iron and copper, and consume iron supplements only when directed by your physician.
6. While aluminum’s role in Alzheimer’s disease remains a matter of investigation, it is prudent to avoid the use of cookware, antacids, baking powder, or other products that contribute dietary aluminum.