42 million people now have dementia, with Alzheimer’s being the most common type. It’s rise can be tracked back to diet, and According to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition specifically to meat, sweets, and high-fat dairy products, all components that make up our beloved western diet. Why are there so many studies bagging on my most beloved food? I don’t like it, but here’s the facts.
According to the study “Using Multicountry Ecological and Observational Studies to Determine Dietary Risk Factors for Alzheimer’s Disease” when Japan made the nutrition transition from the traditional Japanese diet to the Western diet, Alzheimer’s rates rose from 1% in 1985 to 7% in 2008.
Foods that are correlated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s include fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat dairy products, legumes, and fish.
The study author William B. Grant also notes that “reducing meat consumption could significantly reduce the risk of AD (Alzheimer’s) as well as of several cancers, diabetes mellitus type 2, stroke, and, likely, chronic kidney disease.”
reducing meat consumption could significantly reduce the risk of AD (Alzheimer’s) as well as of several cancers, diabetes mellitus type 2, stroke, and, likely, chronic kidney disease.
The data was tracked via watching 10 countries adopt the western diet and watching the trend of health complications rise.
In conclusion Grant notes that “Mounting evidence from ecological and observational studies, as well as studies of mechanisms, indicates that the Western dietary pattern — especially the large amount of meat in that diet — is strongly associated with risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and several other chronic diseases. Although the traditional Mediterranean diet is associated with about half the risk for Alzheimer’s disease of the Western diet, the traditional diets of countries such as India, Japan, and Nigeria, with very low meat consumption, are associated with an additional 50% reduction in risk of Alzheimer’s disease.”