A study published June 17th, 2020 in the journal, Neurology, emphasizes how important a healthy lifestyle is in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Since Alzheimer’s is the leading cause of dementia, and dementia has been called “arguably the single most common disabling and costly geriatric syndrome in long-term care,” it makes sense to embrace these healthy lifestyle activities.
The article “Healthy Lifestyle and the Risk of Alzheimer Dementia,” tracked the following:
- Physical activity (at least 150 minutes/week moderate/vigorous-intensity)
- Light to moderate alcohol consumption
- High-quality diet (Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay diet, sometimes called the MIND diet)
- Engagement in late-life cognitive activities
Before even looking at the study results, we couldn’t help but notice that the laundry list of health factors seemed like excellent guidance for overall health — regardless of age.
The Flabbergasting Results
The study results were compelling. Participants with the most healthy lifestyle factors (4 to 5 factors) had a 60% lower incidence of Alzheimer’s! Those with two to three factors reduced their risk of the disease by 37%. These conclusions were made by looking at the results of two studies, each lasting about six years, and following approximately 700 adults.
Does this Advice Ring a Bell?
If you notice that you have heard similar advice before, it might have been from your healthiest older family members or friends. Or perhaps it was in the prescriptive, “7 Steps for Brain Health” from the Alzheimer’s Association.
Is the MIND Diet not Ringing a Bell?
We must admit we were surprised to read about a healthy-for-your-mind diet that we had not heard of before. The MIND diet is a hybrid of the Mediterranean diet (which we knew about) and the DASH diet (which we hadn’t). It emphasizes brain-supportive nutrients and discourages elements, such as saturated/hydrogenated fats, that are believed to be associated with dementia.
Specifically, it consists of at least:
- 3 servings of whole grain per day
- 6 servings of leafy green vegetables per week in addition to
- At least 2 servings of berries per week
- At least one serving of fish per week
- At least 2 servings of poultry per week
- More than 3 servings of beans per week
- At least 5 servings of nuts per week
- olive oil is the primary source of fat
- one serving of alcohol/wine is allowed per day
Additionally, the following food items are discouraged:
- red meat and products (no more than 4 servings/week)
- fast food and fried food (less than once per week)
- butter/margarine (under 1 tsp./day);
- cheese (less than once per week);
- pastries/sweets (under 5 servings per week).
In addition to a long term care insurance policy to protect our finances against the risk of long term care, it’s nice to discover a highly-credible, commonsense approach to protecting against Alzheimer’s!
Baygroup Insurance is working virtually and easily reachable by email or phone. Should you or anyone you know have questions about long term care planning, long term care insurance policies, or financial planning, please do not hesitate to reach out. Baygroup Insurance can be reached at http://www.baygroupinsurance.com/forms/contact-us or call us at 410-557-7907 for more information.
- Article in Journal NEUROLOGY
- 7 Steps for Brain Health
- Dementia “is arguably the single most common disabling and costly geriatric syndrome in long-term care”
Journal of Post-acute and Long-term Care Medicine: https://www.jamda.com/article/S1525-8610(04)70403-X/fulltext
- (MIND diet) Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) Diet Slows Cognitive Decline After Stroke