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5 Ways Diet Impacts the Risk of Alzheimer’s

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When it comes to Alzheimer’s, there are a few things seniors can do to prevent the disease, starting with the types of foods they eat. Some foods have a negative impact on the way the brain functions and can cause significant damage to brain cells. Here are some of the ways a senior’s diet can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

1. Causes a Spike in Blood Sugar

Refined carbohydrates such as breads, white rice, pasta, and sweets can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Consuming these foods could lead to more insulin production and send toxins to the brain. Insulin plays a big role in regulating amyloid precursors associated with senile plaques, which are a neurological factor pertaining to Alzheimer’s disease. When cooking for your elderly loved one, make sure to use sugar-free spices and good carbs to boost his or her memory.

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2. Includes Unhealthy Chemicals in Meats

Smoked and red meats are bad for the elderly because these foods contain nitrosamines, which are chemical compounds that cause the liver to produce fats that are toxic to the brain. Since manufactured meats are accessible and easy to prepare, many seniors add these meats to their daily diets. However, you need to help your loved one find a diet that consists of lean meats, fatty fish, and poultry to lower his or her risk of Alzheimer’s. Seniors need to avoid diets that have a high intake of the following meats:

• Bacon 
• Ham 
• Sausage 
• Smoked turkey 
• Steak 
• Hot dogs 
• Bologna 

Some older adults aren’t aware of the foods they should avoid and might have difficulty cooking their own food. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Sacramento seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

3. Leads to Protein Buildup

Eating processed cheeses could increase proteins in the body associated with Alzheimer’s. Seniors should avoid meals and snacks made with American cheese, mozzarella cheese, and other processed cheese varieties. When the protein clumps together, it can form plaques that damage neurons and disrupt brain cell function. Your loved one’s diet should consist of non-processed, low-fat dairy products, including cheese. The best cheeses for seniors are goat cheese and feta cheese.

4. Provides Fewer Antioxidants Than the Brain Needs

A diet lacking fruits and vegetables can also increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. The antioxidants found in these foods fight against toxins that damage the brain due to tangles. These abnormalities prevent the body’s internal support and transport system from carrying nutrients and minerals to the brain cells. However, fruits and vegetables fight against proteins like tau that twist into tangles, and they protect areas of the brain responsible for memory and communication.

5. Destroys the Immune System

Frying foods is easier for many seniors and their caregivers, due to faster cooking results. However, a diet that consists of fried foods is bad for the elderly because it can trigger inflammation and destroy the immune system. T cell lymphocytes travel in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which is found in the brain and spinal cord and is crucial for cognition. An immune infection can decrease levels of T cell lymphocytes, affecting the way the brain works. Avoiding fried foods can restore the natural defenses of your loved one’s body and preserve his or her cognitive abilities.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior care. Sacramento, CA, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for a loved one living with a serious medical condition, talk to one of our professional Care Managers at 916.706.0169 today.