By Gabe Sanders PhD, NSCA-CSCS
Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative neurological disorder that can occur later in life. While the exact cause or preventative measures of this difficult disease are somewhat unknown, some researchers suggests there are lifestyle habits you can practice to potentially reduce your risk. Currently, researchers believe that individuals suffering from cardiovascular disease and/or diabetes may have a greater chance of developing Alzheimer’s. Typically, the common link between individuals with cardiovascular disease and Type II Diabetes is that they lead a sedentary lifestyle and consume unhealthy food.
Poor diets are usually the result of either avoiding healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, or regularly consuming foods high saturated fat (fried greasy foods) and sugar (candy, chocolate, ice cream). Engaging in a sedentary lifestyle can also compound the negative effect of poor eating habits. It is well understood that being physically inactive and eating a poor diet can grossly increase your risk of developing Type II Diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition to these diseases, you may also increase your risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
The best part about these guidelines is that they are research-backed and safe for most individuals to follow.
The following six tips are basic dietary and physical activity guidelines recommended by researchers:
Reduce your saturated fat intake– this means that you should avoid eating a lot of red meat, dairy products, and fried foods. Almost all fast food should be eliminated.
Eat plenty of healthy foods- fruits and vegetables; foods like oatmeal, rice, and beans are also proven to be beneficial.
Eat foods high in vitamin E– as opposed to being content with consuming it as a dietary supplement.
Consume vitamin B12-fortified foods– all-bran cereals and yogurts.
Use iron supplements– primarily when advised by your physician.
Engage in physical activity or aerobic exercise– for at least 40 minutes on 3 different days of the week. Being physically active on most days is advisable for all individuals.
Barnard ND, Bush AI, Ceccarelli A, Cooper J, de Jager CA, Erickson KU, et al. Dietary and lifestyle guidelines for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. Internal Conference on Nutrition and the Brain. Washington D.C. 2014. 35(2); s74-78.