Following a healthy diet is crucial for everyone, but especially so for those with dementia. Certain foods are packed with vitamins and nutrients that boost the brain’s function, slowing down mental decline. At the same time, there are other foods that can cause medical conditions and impede memory capability. These are the foods that aging dementia patients should avoid. In this article, we look into some foods that should be replaced with healthier options.
Yes, we know how delicious fried food is. Whether it’s fried chicken or even fried tempura prawns, fried food releases a chemical called oxidant glycotoxins, which can lead to inflammation around the body, including the brain. In fact, many studies have proven that fried foods can result in cognitive decline. For a healthier alternative that still serves a crunch, we recommend breading and baking methods. Otherwise, try to use healthy cooking methods like steaming, poaching, and grilling.
In general, processed foods are never healthy. While they provide convenience and accessibility, fresh foods should always be the top choice. Processed meats such as bacon and hot dogs not only contain a high level of sodium but also nitrates that speed up inflammation. This goes for processed cheese as well. According to recent research, patients who consume processed foods every day have a 44% increased risk of developing dementia. As such, it’s worth the extra money to purchase higher quality meats and cheeses as this will prevent health issues from arising.
Refined carbohydrates are white foods, such as bread, rice, and pasta. That is why nutritionists would recommend choosing brown rice over white rice and whole-grain bread over white bread. Refined carbohydrates are high in sugar content, which can increase blood sugar levels and pressure. A significant fluctuation in glucose levels in our body can negatively impact cognitive function, causing symptoms such as headaches and slower thinking.
Foods Containing MSG
You’ll normally find monosodium glutamate, otherwise called MSG in short, in frozen dinners, instant noodles, and chips. This flavor enhancer makes any food taste good, but of course, there’s a negative side to it. MSG can stimulate the nervous system, disrupting the neurons in the brain. This leads to worsening sensitivity and memory impairment, thus increasing cognitive decline. Your loved ones can instead flavor their food through other healthier condiments like beef stock, soy sauce, and just plain old salt, to name a few.
There’s a reason why water is still the best fluid for your body. Just like refined carbohydrates, sugary drinks increase the blood sugar level, which leads to an increased risk of dementia and diabetes. Sugar-sweetened drinks include sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and fruit juices. Yes, even as fruit juices are blended with supposedly healthy fruits, juices can be worse than fizzy drinks due to a lack of fiber. Your loved ones should also consider limiting coffee and tea intake, as they dehydrate the body.