Dementia & Diet Matter: These Foods Raise Alzheimer’s Risk!

Studies have shown that while some foods boost memory, others actually increase risks for Alzheimer’s disease. These same foods are linked to other serious health problems, making it that much more important to limit or remove them from a senior’s diet.

A healthy diet does more than benefit our waistlines. It improves our heart health, lowers our risk for cancer, diabetes, and other diseases, and keeps our minds healthy. In fact, research has shown that a poor diet impacts memory and increases a person’s chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.


Why Some Foods Induce Memory Loss

The brain needs its own brand of fuel. It requires healthy fats, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and adequate vitamins and minerals. Consuming too little of these foods and too many complex carbohydrates, processed foods and sugar stimulates the production of toxins in the body. Those toxins can lead to inflammation, the build-up of plaques in the brain and, as a result, impaired cognitive function.

These effects apply to people of all ages, not just seniors.

Foods That Induce Memory Loss

Unfortunately, the foods that hamper memory are common staples in the American diet. White breads, pasta, processed meats and cheeses, all of these have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Some experts have even found that whole grain breads are as bad as white breads because they spike blood sugar, which causes inflammation.

Here’s a list of foods linked to increased rates of Alzheimer’s disease:

Red Meat

While I’m a fan of red meat, too much of a good thing might increase your chances of Alzheimer’s. (And, of course, eating low-quality red meat is a big no-no.) Red meat is an iron-rich food. And though your body needs enough iron to avoid anemia, chronic fatigue and muscle weakness, too much iron can actually speed up damage created from too many free radicals unleashed in our bodies.

As the iron builds up in the brain, it does so in an area known as “gray matter,” a part of the brain that shows one of the first signs of degeneration as we age. Too much iron in that area seems to speed up the process even more.

That doesn’t mean saying goodbye to hamburgers and steaks, but rather being mindful of how much you’re eating a week and choosing the best quality, grass-fed beef available is key.

Refined Carbohydrates & Sugars

If you needed another reason to stay away from starchy pasta and breads, here’s one. Diets high in carbohydrates and sugar can raise your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

A 2012 study found that people 70 years or older who ate a diet heavy in carbohydrates were almost four times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s than their healthier eating counterparts. That spike in Alzheimer’s is far beyond normal age-related issues you’d expect to see in regards to memory and thinking. This makes the sugar industry scandal even more devastating. Industry funded Harvard research in the 1960s blamed downplayed sugar’s role in coronary heart disease. Today, we know sugar’s role go far beyond heart disease and greatly impacts the brain, too.

The theory behind why carbohydrates, which are often loaded with sugar (check out a white bread label sometime!), affect the brain so strongly is that carbs raise glucose and insulin levels rapidly, causing a blood sugar spike. Eventually, that can lead to insulin resistance over time. (In fact, reversing diabetes naturally could be one of the best things you can do for your brain, since Alzheimer’s is now being pegged “type 3 diabetes.)

The more our bodies ignore insulin, the more our pancreas produce. These high levels of insulin now coursing through the body might actually damage blood vessels in the brain, leading to issues with memory. In fact, in Alzheimer’s patients, parts of the brain become resistant to insulin — and while researchers aren’t sure why, there seems to be a link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

High-AGE Foods

No, not old foods! “AGEs” represents sophisticated glycation final product. These are chemicals that are discovered both naturally in our bodies and in some foods. Scientists previously connected foods high in AGEs to diabetes and bad cardiovascular health. Now it seems it might play a function in a decreasing brain. When foods raise Alzheimer’s risk, AGEs are leading of the list.

A 2014 study first analyzed the role of AGE in mice. After feeding the animals’ three various types of diet plans– one low in AGEs, one high in AGEs and a “regular” diet– those mice who were eating the least quantity of AGEs delighted in improved cognitive function.

Next, the researchers put their theory to the test with people. They studied the diets of 90 healthy individuals 60 years old or older. Those with high-AGE diets fared the worst, revealing decrease over the course of the 9-month study.

Cook Smarter Even When Foods Raise Alzheimer’s Risk

It is very important to note that all foods include some level of AGEs. Meats, cheeses and animal fats tend to have the most without a doubt, though. And because AGE production really increases with heat, the way you prepare your meat matters when it concerns avoiding AGEs and how foods raise your Alzheimer’s threat.

Barbecuing and frying meats accelerate AGE production a lot more than other methods of cooking. For instance, a serving of raw chicken has an AGE level of 800; fried chicken has a level of 8,000.

Skip the deep fryer and high-heat grill and choose rather for stewing, poaching, braising or utilizing a grill pan on the stove.

On the supplement side of things, researchers are even beginning to discover that olive leaf benefits include inhibiting the formation of AGEs.

The # 1 Alzheimer’s- Fueling Food

If I needed to warn you about the top food to keep away from when it comes to foods raise Alzheimer’s threat, it would be this: A traditional steak covered with store-bought marinade and charred on the grill.

This one, popular food features all the parts of foods that raise Alzheimer’s danger: Factory farmed red meat with skyrocketing levels of AGEs due to grilling on high heat. Beyond that, more store-bought marinades are filled with added sugars and sweeteners, another class of foods that raise Alzheimer’s threat.

When you do barbecue an occasional steak, make sure to select grass-fed and organic, marinade in a vinegar and herb base and cook slow and low to minimize AGE levels. As a side note, marinading smarter helps you lower grilling carcinogens by 99 percent.

Decreasing Your Alzheimer’s Risk: What to Consume

While there are some foods you ought to prevent to decrease your Alzheimer’s threat, there are a ton that you must be delighting in that can really assist decrease your danger.

Following the Mediterranean diet is among the very best things you can do for your brain. Emphasizing fresh fruits and veggies, wild-caught seafood, poultry, nuts, olive oil and dairy in small amounts– with red meat taken pleasure in on special celebrations or just when a week– the Mediterranean has been touted as one of the very best ways to decrease your possibilities of developing Alzheimer’s through nutrition.

Due to the fact that the Mediterranean diet is heavy on brain foods like avocados, leafy greens and olive oil, it makes sense that following the diet plan would keep the brain in tip-top shape. In truth, all of my 5 finest healthy fats for your body become part of the Mediterranean diet plan, including omega-3 fats. These are discovered in fish like wild-caught salmon and play a substantial function in brain health, decreasing the aging procedure.


Scientists are connecting a diet plan rich in red meat, added sugars and refined carbs to a greater danger of Alzheimer’s illness.

So while there may not be a quick repair to avoiding Alzheimer’s illness, you can raise or minimize your risk of developing the disease at each meal.