Dementia can lead to severe cognitive decline and disrupt overall wellbeing. However, lifestyle choices such as following a healthy diet can stave off dementia. Take a look at some of the foods that increase the risk of dementia and why seniors should avoid each item.
1. Red Meats
Sausage, steak, ribs, bologna, hot dogs, and roast are red meats seniors should avoid if they want to lower their risk of developing dementia. These types of meats are high in saturated fat and can cause insulin resistance. Instead of red meats, encourage your elderly parent to eat turkey, fatty fish, poultry, and other lean meats. He or she should also avoid eating processed meats. The nitrosamines found in processed meats can cause the liver to produce toxic fats that damage how the brain processes and stores information.
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2. Potato Chips
Most potato chip manufacturers use monosodium glutamate (MSG) in their products. MSG is a flavor enhancer that changes the way potato chips taste, and it can also disrupt the way the brain functions, cause some chronic conditions to worsen, and indirectly increase the risk of dementia. Instead of snacking on potato chips, aging adults should eat nuts, seeds, sweet potato fries, and vegetables.
3. White Rice
Inflammation is a serious issue many seniors are familiar with. The foods older adults eat could lead to inflamed brain cells as well as other problems throughout their bodies. Significant increases in blood sugar can cause inflammation and prevent the brain from functioning normally. Instead of eating white rice, seniors should try brown rice, quinoa, bulgur wheat, or cauliflower rice.
Unstable blood sugar levels can also be problematic for seniors with health conditions such as diabetes. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior care. Galt Ocean Mile families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
4. Processed Cheese
Too much protein can be dangerous for a senior’s organs, especially the brain. Processed cheese contains high levels of protein. Protein is a building block of amino acids and can increase the risk of dementia and other cognitive disorders. Instead of eating mozzarella and other processed cheeses, seniors should try replacing them with nuts, which are great for boosting brain health.
Cooking with butter and oils is common for many people, but the effects could damage how your loved one’s organs function, including his or her brain. Butter is a trans fat that stops the flow of oxygen to the brain and tightens arteries, increasing the risk of dementia. Healthy cooking oils seniors can use include olive, coconut, and flaxseed oils.
6. Sweet Treats
Aluminum, which is found in most cake and cookie mixes, is a heavy metal that can damage brain tissue and cause dementia to develop. Your loved one should avoid cakes, cookies, and other foods that contain this dangerous additive. Instead, he or she should eat fresh fruits, low-fat yogurts, or nuts as an alternative snack.
Diet is a critical component of everyone’s health, and even more so for aging adults. Seniors should take special care to avoid the items listed above to lower their risk of dementia. If your loved one has difficulty choosing healthy foods or preparing nutritious meals, help is available. In Ft. Lauderdale, home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (954) 909-0370.