ALZHEIMER’S DIET: 16 FOODS FOR DEMENTIA + WHAT NOT TO EAT
Dr. Bredesen’s KetoFLEX12/3 diet is the best for Alzheimer’s. It is a keto diet with metabolic flexibility. It recommends a 12-hour fast every day, with at least three hours before bedtime.
The ketogenic diet, which is somewhat flexible, can reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease dementia. An Alzheimer’s diet can reverse cognitive decline in the early stages.
This diet encourages 12-hour fasting to give your body more time to heal cell damage. You should not eat within three hours of getting to bed.
What are the health benefits of an Alzheimer’s diet? Taking control of your health is a benefit of an Alzheimer’s diet. This diet is based on science. Your chances of getting Alzheimer’s can be reduced by eating green leafy vegetables, nuts, and occasional glasses of red wine.
Is it possible to reverse Alzheimer’s disease by following a healthy diet? It is possible to reverse cognitive decline in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. There is no cure for Alzheimer’s. We have seen patients with cognitive decline reversed by lifestyle changes such as changing their diet.
Is it possible to reverse advanced dementia with healthy eating habits? The KetoFLEX 12-3/ diet is promising in slowing cognitive decline and early stages dementia.
Research also shows that the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delayed (MIND) diet lowers the risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia. This diet is a combination of the Mediterranean diet and Dietary Approaches to Stop hypertension (DASH).
Alzheimer’s vs. Dementia – What’s the difference?
While both Alzheimer’s and dementia can cause cognitive decline, not all dementia patients will have it. Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by dementia, which is the most common form of dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease is caused in part by misaligned protein structures in the brain (beta amyloid plaques, tau tangles). The malformations can lead to cognitive impairment by destroying the brain cells in which they are found.
These microscopic brain changes are what define Alzheimer’s . Doctors cannot determine if someone has Alzheimer’s . They must perform an autopsy.
The first symptoms are:
- Memory loss
- Attention span is very short
- Problem-solving and decision making skills are difficult to master
- Agitation, restlessness and anxiety
- Having trouble finding the right words to use in writing or speaking
- It is easy to get lost
Alzheimer’s medication may be used to help a patient with noticeable symptoms. Making lifestyle and diet changes seem to be equally effective, if perhaps more, than taking medication.
Risk Factors for Dementia & Alzheimer’s
Scientists have discovered that genetics, lifestyle, and environment all play a role in your likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Alzheimer’s and dementia Risk factors are.
- Age With age comes a greater chance that you will develop dementia or Alzheimer’s.
- Genetics If you are related to someone with dementia, your chances of developing it yourself are higher. You are also more likely to develop Alzheimer’s if you have some versions of genes like apolipoprotein e4.
- Education: People who have less education are at a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
- High Risk for Cardiovascular Disease: Many of the same factors that can affect your heart health such as high blood pressure or heart disease, will also increase your risk for Alzheimer’s.
- Head trauma: If you sustain a head injury and lose your consciousness, you are more likely to get Alzheimer’s.
- Alcohol abuse: People with alcohol-use disorder (alcoholism), are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and impaired cognition.
- Problems with sleep: Older adults experiencing constant interrupted sleeping are more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
- A poor diet:Eating unhealthy foods can increase your chances of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s.
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If you have any of these risk factors, it is possible to develop Alzheimer’s. You can still do things that will reduce your risk, and help prevent the disease.
These 16 foods are the best to add or remove to your diet if you want to lower your risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Leafy green vegetables
- Vegetables that are not starchy
- Prebiotics and probiotics
- Olive oil
- No sugar
- No trans fats
- There are no grains
- Salt alternatives
1. Leafy Green Vegetables
What’s the best food to fight dementia? It is likely that green leafy vegetables are the most effective food against dementia. They have a positive impact on cognitive health.
These vegetables include:
- Romaine lettuce
- Leaf lettuce
- Bok choy
Research that looked at cognitive decline and fruit and vegetable intake found that green leafy vegetables provided the greatest protection. The phytonutrients and antioxidants found in leafy greens make them a key part of many healthy eating plans, such as the KetoFLEX diet.
Folate is also high in leafy green vegetables. Folate concentrations in the blood can predict whether someone will develop Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Because of this strong association, many people take a folate supplement in order to prevent dementia. Recent studies have challenged the accuracy of these predictions.
What foods are good to eat for dementia? Many foods are good for dementia.
- Leafy green vegetables
- Avocados, nuts and fish are rich in healthy fats.
- Unsweetened green tea
2. Non-Starchy Vegetables
You should include non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels Sprouts in your dementia-fighting diet. They’re rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals which makes them an essential part of diets that support brain health.
KetoFLEX is great for all vegetables, except those that are high in starch and highly processed. The more pigment the better. The better, the more local and organic. Do you want to spice it up with tasty (zero-carb!) herbs and spices Great!
These vegetables are rich in anti-inflammatory substances and antioxidants. Research has shown that plant antioxidants can be used to treat and prevent mild cognitive impairments.
Inflammation strongly links to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. To fight inflammation and maintain a healthy brain, eat more cruciferous veggies.
Another important component of Alzheimer’s or dementia diets, such as the KetoFLEX diet, is fish. Patients can get more healthy fats and lean protein from fish.
Healthy fats are the foundation of all fully ketogenic diets. The KetoFLEX 12/3 is not a strict keto diet. However, it still relies heavily on healthy fats for its main energy source. The healthy fats found in fish could prove to be life-saving.
Research shows that people who eat more fish may have less cognitive decline as their age.
Numerous fish species have high levels in omega-3 fatty acid, including:
Alzheimer’s patients often have low levels docosahexaenoic acids (DHA), which is a type of Omega-3 fatty acid. Consuming omega-3-rich fish can help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as protect brain function.
Fish is a good source of vitamin B12 and can have a negative impact on brain health. Low levels of vitamin B12 are linked to cognitive impairment.
Even certain types of dementia can be reversed with vitamin B12 supplementation. Fish is a great way to improve brain health.
Beans are a type legume that provides important protein and fiber sources. They are a good source folate, just like leafy green vegetables. Low folate levels can increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Complex carbs are superior to simple carbohydrates like sugar and processed foods. You don’t want too much or carbohydrate in your KetoFLEX diet. Limit your bean intake to a maximum. Two of the lowest-carb bean types are green beans and black soybeans.
Brain health may be protected by eating legumes. Peking University, China, found that older men who ate less legumes were more likely to experience cognitive decline. Beans are a good option to prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.
A glass of red wine every now and again can prevent brain aging. This is great news for red wine lovers.
Too much alcohol can lead to cognitive impairment and an increase in Alzheimer’s risk. A glass of wine can have protective properties if consumed in moderation.
A glass of wine a day is good for your heart health. KetoFLEX recommends that you limit your wine intake to a few glasses per week. If you don’t mind the taste, consider low-alcohol, sugar-free red wine.
Evidence shows that moderate wine consumption actually lowers the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Regular physical activity was also shown to reduce Alzheimer’s risk in study participants.
Flavonoids are compounds that give wine its color. Flavonoids are anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Antioxidants and antiinflammatories promote brain wellness by reducing oxidative stresses in the cells.
Red wine also contains Resveratrol, which has been gaining popularity in recent years due to its health benefits.
Resveratrol also has a lot to offer in the prevention of Alzheimer’s. Research has shown that resveratrol aids neurons to break down proteins which form beta-amyloid plaques. It appears to also help prevent neurons from dying and breaking down.
Another great food to add to your Alzheimer’s or dementia dietary plan is nuts. Many nuts contain healthy omega-3 fatty acid, much like fish. These omega-3 fatty acids will protect your brain health. They can also help improve your cardiovascular health.
A better cardiovascular health will lower your chances of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
It is possible that nuts consumption may have a direct correlation with cognitive function. Long-term studies of over 70-year-old women found that those who consumed 5 to 7 servings of nuts per week had better cognitive function.
Participants who ate more nuts had better language skills. For example, they were able to remember the names of different objects. They also had a longer attention span.
7. Prebiotics and Probiotics
Prebiotics, probiotics, and other prebiotics are excellent for your gut and immune health. However, they also seem to positively affect your brain’s health.
Prebiotics are fibers which feed your gut and improve the microbiome. Prebiotic foods can regulate the amount of good bacteria in your intestinal tract. This has a greater impact on your overall health than you might realize.
Probiotics can be described as good bacteria you eat. So long as SIBO is not a problem, probiotics can positively impact your gut microbiome. This positively impacts your immune system which in turn positively impacts your entire body, including your brain.
Prebiotic foods include:
- Dandelion greens
- Artichoke hearts
- Green bananas (very seldom)
Probiotic foods are:
- Fermented veggies
- Dill or Sour Pickles (that do not contain sugar)
8. Olive Oil
One of the most well-known healthy fats is olive oil. It is the foundation of many Alzheimer’s and dementia-friendly diets. KetoFLEX is a big fan of olive oil’s healthy fat content.
Healthy fats such as olive oil are a better choice than carbs for energy. Carbohydrates can be converted into glucose to provide energy; fats can be used to produce ketones. KetoFLEX is limiting carb intake, so it’s important to eat plenty of healthy fats.
Monounsaturated fats (the “good” fats found in olive oil) can help lower total cholesterol. Consuming more monounsaturated fats can increase your HDL (good cholesterol) while lowering your LDL (bad cholesterol).
Bad cholesterol is directly linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Cholesterol controls beta-amyloid proteins, which form plaques and can cause disease. A lower chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease can be achieved by eating cholesterol-lowering foods, such as olive oil.
Do not Use margarine or vegetable oils. This can trigger inflammation even if you aren’t at risk of developing Alzheimer’s. These misleadingly-named products should not be used.
A diet for dementia and Alzheimer’s includes eating more chicken than red meat or pork.
Red meat consumption is one of the key components of the Mediterranean diet. It is considered one of the most effective diets to prevent Alzheimer’s. Red meat is not as important on the KetoFLEX dementia diet. It’s still a good idea to substitute beef and pork for poultry and fish.
Like pork and red meat, poultry is mostly lean protein. You should aim to consume 1-2 portions of poultry each week. KetoFLEX does not recommend eating animal protein, but it is important to ensure you have enough.
This superfood is essential for any keto diet, even mildly ketogenic KetoFLEX. Avocados are rich in healthy fats that provide clean energy and don’t spike blood sugar.
Avocados contain healthy monounsaturated oils, similar to olive oil. Monounsaturated fats and omega-6 polyunsaturated oils are more likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia.
To a salad with green leafy vegetables, beans, chicken, and a few berries, add some avocado slices. This delicious meal will also help to protect your brain.
Green tea (unsweetened) reduces the risk of mild cognitive impairment, dementia or Alzheimer’s. The KetoFLEX diet places tea on the same level as non-starchy vegetables. You can enjoy tea whenever you like.
Studies show that different teas can have positive effects on your brain’s health. Another study that examined different types of tea produced mixed results.
Catechins are a type flavonoid found in green tea. Catechins, which are strong antioxidants and anti-inflammatory, are strong. Researchers believe green tea is good for the brain due to its protective properties.
Do not sweeten your tea with anything other than monk fruit or Stevia extract. Even then, you shouldn’t overindulge. Limit even these zero-calorie sweeteners.
Even though you should avoid high-carb fruits and vegetables, berries may help to fight dementia. Flavonoids are also found in berries, just like wine and tea. They are full of:
- Anti-inflammatory substances
- Fiber (prebiotic)
- Vitamins (including vitamin C)
Scientists have discovered a direct link between brain health and berries. One study showed that blueberry juice daily could improve memory in participants. Another study found that subjects were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease if they consumed more strawberries.
What foods are best to fight memory Loss ? Berries and fish are three of the best foods to fight memory loss. Evidence is overwhelming that they are beneficial to brain health.
13. No Sugar
Eliminating sugar from your diet might be the best thing for your brain. Your neurological health is especially at risk from sugary drinks
Clinical trials and research are showing increasing correlations between sugar intake and risk of Alzheimer’s.
Sugar intake can cause inflammation. Chronic inflammation can cause cognitive impairment, dementia, , and Alzheimer’s. You can protect your brain and your overall health by reducing sugar intake.
What foods should Alzheimer’s patients stay away from? Avoid these foods for Alzheimer’s patients:
- Trans fat
- Conventional milk
- Salty amounts
14. No Trans Fat
While we encourage healthy fats in the KetoFLEX diet , transfats are harmful to your health, including your brain health. Trans fats can be found in processed foods and are often unnatural.
They are particularly bad for your cardiovascular health. Alzheimer’s disease directly impacts cardiovascular health. An Alzheimer’s diet should not include trans fats.
What foods can cause dementia?
- Trans fats
- Dairy products
- High sodium
How can you avoid trans fats? Avoid fried foods as they can be high in trans fats. Avoid highly processed foods. Trans fats are mostly created by man, so they can only be found in processed foods. It is possible to switch from hydrogenated oils to olive oil.
15. No Grains
KetoFLEX does not recommend eating grains. This will cause you to go into ketosis which is crucial for brain health. Also, they’re inflammatory. You may also be allergic to them, and not know it.
Even though bread and pasta were once the most popular food group, they are no longer recommended. You can find many keto-friendly, grain-free, low-carb and keto-friendly bread substitutions.
For those who love pasta and bread, this one may be a bit painful. There are many options that can make it easier to forget about traditional grains. It is all about fighting dementia through dietary changes. Avoiding grains is an important step in that process.
Many websites will advise you to eat whole grains. Whole grains are generally good for you. However, if you follow the KetoFLEX 12/3 diet, all grains will cause you to go ketosis.
16. Salt Alternatives
High-sodium diets (or high-salt ones) can increase blood pressure and lead to cardiovascular problems. In turn, cardiovascular issues can turn into brain health issues. It can eventually lead to Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Use zero-carb herbs or spices instead of reaching for the salt shaker to enhance your food’s flavor. Fast food and processed foods, including frozen meals, are not recommended. They often contain high amounts of salt. You can make more control over what you eat by cooking at home.
guideline offers a Prevention Program.
We support Dr. Dale Bredesen’s KetoFLEX 12/3 diet plan for patients with cognitive impairment. It has worked wonders when combined with other positive lifestyle changes.
We can’t wait to hear from more doctors and caregivers about the KetoFLEX 12-3/Diet.
What are some natural ways to reverse dementia? Simple lifestyle and dietary adjustments can reverse dementia. This works best in the early stages of dementia or cognitive decline.