To Your Health
July, 2013 (Vol. 07, Issue 07)
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Alzheimer's Risk High With High Glycemic Foods

If you are looking for a way to avoid serious cognitive diseases in old age, pay attention to your diet. New research has found diets high in saturated fat and sugar may increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

This is another good reason to pay attention - your mind and memory could be at risk with a poor diet.

The study published in June in the journal JAMA Neurology found that participants who ate a diet high in saturated fat (including lots of beef and bacon) and "high glycemic index" foods (such as white rice and white bread) had an increase in levels of a protein called amyloid-beta in their cerebral spinal fluid. Amyloid-beta is a key component of the brain plaques that are a hallmark of Alzheimer's.

In contrast, participants who ate a diet low in saturated fat (including fish and chicken) and low in high glycemic index foods (such as whole grains) had a decrease in amyloid-beta in their cerebral spinal fluid. After four weeks, those on the high saturated fat diet saw an increase in LD amyloid-beta levels, while those on the low saturated fat diet saw a decrease in LD amyloid-beta.

It has been well documented in the past that a diet high in saturated fats also puts your cardiac health at risk, but this time it is also your brain. By following a diet that is low in saturated fats and high in whole grains can help you avoid one of the most serious cognitive diseases out there. Talk to your doctor about how you can improve your diet.