Most of us know at least one person who has had a family member who has suffered with Alzheimer's. This debilitating disease robs a person of their very essence. Most require long term care and the incidence is rising at an alarming rate.
Studies have looked at many causes;environmental,immunizations, exposure to a particular virus, etc. but only recently have we seen a correlation between diet and Alzheimer's, and this is exciting!
Studies at George Washington University by nutrition researcher Dr. Neal Barnard, author of, "Power foods for the brain" have discovered a link between this disease and a plant based diet. It has become apparent that some foods promote this disease. Saturated fat is the culprit. What foods contain saturated fat or 'bad' fat?
- Chicken (fried, with the skin on it)
- Dairy (milk, ice cream)
- Highly Processed foods (most breads, crackers, cookies, cereals,etc)
- Foods fried in trans fats (donuts, nuggets)
Know anyone who eats like this? We do! As Americans this makes up more than 50% of our diet. What can you do to lower your risk and still have a varied, healthy diet? Here are a few ideas that can help you to avoid not only Alzheimer's but cancers, heart disease and diabetes.
- Trade eggs for oatmeal, or whole grain pancakes.
- Try a vegan pizza. Top it with vegan cheese and loads of fresh veggies.
- Replace milk with almond milk. Still delicious and full of nutrients.
- Keep healthy fats in your diet, like olive oil and safflower oil, rather than the 'bad' fats, like stick margarine, lard and the highly processed foods fried in it.
- Make a stir fry with loads of fresh veggies, brown rice and toss in some peanuts or almonds.
- Start with two meals a week and build from there. A little planning goes a long way in helping you to avoid these diseases.
- Use your crock pot! Many websites, like All Recipes.com http://www.allrecipes.com offer a vegetarian crock pot section that can help simplify your dietary changes.
- If it helps your family to use the words 'plant-based' rather than vegetarian, do so!
The amazing news with this 20 year study is that we can beat these diseases! Even if you have genetic markers that predispose you, change it! Make it a family effort and see what a difference it makes! Be well!
Shelli Rossignol lmt/cr February 2013
- "Power foods for the brain" by Dr. Neil Barnard
- George Washington University