Foods that increase the risk of dementia

Dementia is not a specific disease but rather a general term referring to a disturbance in the ability to remember, think or make decisions that interferes with carrying out activities of daily living, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Also, Mayo Clinica non-profit organization dedicated to clinical practice, education and research, explained that Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of progressive dementia in older adults, but there are also other causes of dementia such as vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy dementia, frontotemporal dementia, mixed dementia, Huntington’s disease, traumatic brain injury (TBI), Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Parkinson’s disease, among others.

He also pointed out that some risk factors are:

  • Age. The risk increases as you get older, especially after age 65. However, dementia is not a normal part of aging and can occur in younger people.
  • Family background. Having a family history of dementia puts you at higher risk of developing the condition. However, many people with a family history never have symptoms, and many people without a family history do, but there are tests to determine if you have certain gene mutations.
  • Down’s Syndrome. By middle age, many people with Down syndrome develop early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

On the same line, 20 minutes revealed that the consumption of ultra-processed foods accelerated cognitive deterioration and the risk of suffering from dementia rose by 25%, according to a UK Biobank study and cited by the media.

“Ultra-processed foods are industrial formulations mainly based on substances extracted or derived from food, as well as additives and cosmetics that give color, flavor or texture to try to imitate food. These products are nutritionally unbalanced. They have a high content of free sugars, total fat, saturated fat, and sodium, and a low content of protein, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins, compared to unprocessed or minimally processed products, dishes, and meals,” explained the Pan American Organization. of Health (PAHO).

Thus, the non-profit entity listed some recommendations to prevent dementia:

  • Follow a healthy diet. A Mediterranean-like diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are commonly found in certain fish and nuts, may promote health and reduce the risk of developing dementia. This type of diet also improves cardiovascular health, which can help reduce the risk of dementia.
  • Get physical and social activity. Physical activity and social interaction can delay the onset of dementia and reduce its symptoms, and it is important to aim for 150 minutes of exercise per week.
  • Keep the mind active. Mentally stimulating activities, such as reading, doing crossword puzzles or word games, and memory training may delay the onset of dementia and lessen its effects.
  • Consume sufficient amount of vitamins. Some research suggests that people with low levels of vitamin D in their blood are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
  • Treat hearing problems. People with hearing loss are more likely to develop cognitive impairment. Early treatment of hearing loss, such as the use of hearing aids, may help reduce the risk.

In any case, the information given above in no way replaces medical advice and therefore the first thing to do is consult a health expert so that he or she can guide the process and indicate what is most appropriate for each person. .

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