November 14, 2022
IS THERE A SPECIAL DIET RECOMMENDED FOR PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE?
Not yet. But there's strong evidence that healthy lifestyle habits - such as diet, exercise and not smoking - may play a role in reducing your risk of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. However, more research is needed before any of these lifestyle factors can be considered a proven strategy to prevent Alzheimer's disease.
The Mediterranean diet has been associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. It is a way of eating that is similar to the cuisine of countries along the Mediterranean Sea. There is no single definition of the diet, but you will eat mostly plant-based foods. The diet can be used as a long-term diet pattern to promote health, control blood sugar, inflammation and prevent chronic disease.
The Mediterranean diet is rich in:
This type of diet is also a heart-healthy diet that reduces the risk of conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. These conditions are also risk factors for dementia.
DO THE CHANGES THAT OCCUR IN PEOPLE WITH ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE MAKE HEALTHY EATING MORE DIFFICULT?
Yes. First, the normal aging process itself can change eating habits. For example, a person’s sense of taste and smell may change as one ages, which can affect what he or she chooses to eat and impact overall health. There can also be problems with teeth or gums or dentures that make eating more uncomfortable. Diseases affecting vision are also common in the elderly. This can make preparing, recognizing, and enjoying foods more difficult.
HOW TO EAT WELL WITH ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE
There’s no special diet for people with Alzheimer's disease, but good nutrition can ease some symptoms and help them feel good. the Mediterranean diet has been associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
REMEMBER THE BASICS
The basic rules of a healthy diet apply to everyone, whether they have Alzheimer’s or not. Build a meal plan that helps your loved one. More research is needed before experts know specific ways to prevent Alzheimer's. But here are some steps that promote good overall brain health:
PRACTICAL TIPS TO HELP SOMEONE WITH ALZHEIMER'S OR DEMENTIA EAT MORE
People living with Alzheimer’s or dementia often eat less than they used to. Sometimes people just lose interest in food. The ability and want to eat tends to get worse as the disease progresses and ensuring someone living with dementia eats a nutritious meal, or eats enough, can become a real practical and emotional issue for the carer.
You may need to experiment with different sizes, textures and flavours of food to see which the person responds to the best. Here are some tips to help you change things up:
If you are worried about the health of your relative with Alzheimer's, dementia, or about how little they are eating, then the best place to go to is your relative’s GP or set up an appointment with our Registered Dietitian & Functional Medicine Providers.
Click here to learn more about how we can help, or to have someone reach out to assist with any questions or give us a call to set up an appointment 716-631-3555 x4256.
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