A Secret To Living Long And Keeping All Your Marbles

Apr 10 2014, 6:03pm CDT | by

A Secret To Living Long And Keeping All Your Marbles
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Can you prevent Alzheimer’s Disease?   Can you avoid being like 5.2 million older people across this country with dementia?

As far as we know, no one thing can prevent this brain killing disease.  However, there is increasing evidence that a Mediterranean diet can protect us.  The recent Johns Hopkins Health Alert reports on two separate studies that suggest that this  kind of eating can protect against cognitive decline.

The first study, reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that emphasis on plant based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, grains, and fish with limited full-fat dairy and meat protected against cognitive impairment, particularly Alzheimer’s Disease.  The Alert reports that even people who adhered moderately to this kind of diet had protective effects from it.

The second study, reported in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry looked at a comparison of two groups of people in their 70s.  One group followed the Mediterranean diet and the other followed a low fat diet.

After six years, those who followed a Mediterranean diet scored significantly higher on standardized cognitive tests than those who followed the low-fat diet. Those who scored higher were also less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment or dementia.
These two studies are not the first to suggest that a plant based diet with limited red meat, limited animal fat and lots of fruits and vegetables can ward off Alzheimer’s Disease or other dementias.  Yet, Americans keep eating lots of red meat, full fat dairy products, and not enough fish.  And as a society, we consume far fewer than recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables./>

Alzheimer’s Disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.  There are now multiple studies that show the same results as those recently reported in the latest Health Alert from Johns Hopkins. If you notice what studies show about how to prevent the other biggest killers in our country, such as heart disease, stroke and cancer, they say almost exactly the same thing:  eat a lot of fruits and veggies, little meat, more fish and stick to plant sources of fat, such as nuts and olive oil  instead of animal fat.  it’s all the same: prevent one and you presumably help prevent multiple risks of getting sick or dying too young.

Are we, as Americans eating a fast food laden, fried food heavy, unhealthy diet because we don’t know what’s good for us? Certainly not!  We hear this same information all the time about how to prevent disease and live longer. We know what’s good for us.  We’re maybe just too unwilling to change.

So here’s the challenge.

Do you know anyone who has dementia? Do you have an aging parent with dementia?  Do you want to be like that, a burden to your loved ones?  If not, make a promise to yourself. Start small. Change one thing in your daily eating habits by taking out something that is not good for you. (Soda?  A serving of red meat? Fries?)  And add in one good thing ( an apple, an orange a green salad) every day.  It’s a start.  Maybe you’ll progress to more than one if you set your mind to it.

As for me, I live in Marin County, California, with the longest lived women in the U.S. and the fifth longest lived men.  We’re loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods (gluten free for the believers, too) and fresh fish aplenty, as we’re just north of San Francisco,on the Bay.  Around here it’s easier to eat properly because so many choices are available for the right stuff.  If you aren’t so lucky, you can still do it. It just takes more work. At AgingParents.com we’re strong advocates for healthy aging, as we see too much in our clients’ parents of what unhealthy aging looks like. To me, the prospect of living long without dementia is worth the work.

Think about how your food choices now affect your chances down the road.  Healthy aging or too rapid decline? Change for the better, one step at a time. And may you live a long and healthy life with all your marbles.

Until next time,
Carolyn Rosenblatt
AgingParents.com/>/>

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Ebola virus detected in semen three months after symptoms end
Geneva, Nov 28 (IANS/EFE) The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned Friday that the semen of men recovering from Ebola can contain the deadly virus up to three months after the symptoms disappear.
 
 
Hitachi evinces interest in developing Andhra ports
Hyderabad, Nov 28 (IANS) Japanese multinational conglomerate Hitachi has shown interest in developing ports in Andhra Pradesh.
 
 
Ebola test results now in 15 minutes!
London, Nov 28 (IANS) A 15-minute blood and saliva test for Ebola is to be tried in Guinea.
 
 
Japanese scientists develop hybrid silk using spider genes
Tokyo, Nov 28 (IANS/EFE) Japanese scientists have developed through genetic engineering using genes from spiders and silkworms a super resistant silk which could be used for textiles as well as in the surgical field, media reported Friday.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Abigail Breslin slams ex Michael Clifford
Abigail Breslin has slammed her ex, Michael Clifford. The 'My Sister's Keeper' actress went on a date with the 5 Seconds of Summer guitarist last year but it seems as though it didn't end well after she released a song...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kevin Bacon to sizzle in Jungle
Kevin Bacon is to star in 'Jungle'. The 56-year-old actor will appear in the survival drama, which is based on the true story of Yossi Ghinsberg, an adventurer who found himself lost in the Amazon rainforest for three...
Read more on Movie Balla
 
Mickey Rourke to return to boxing at 62
Mickey Rourke will return to boxing aged 62. The actor will come out of retirement and step into the ring tonight (11.28.14) for the first time in 20 years as he competes against 29-year-old Elliot Seymour. He said: ''...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Kristen Stewart: Actors are isolated
Kristen Stewart claims actors become ''isolated'' because of their fame. The 24-year-old actress has become one of the biggest movie stars in the world following her portrayal of Bella Swan in the 'Twilight' franchise...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Burt Reynolds to sell memorabilia
Burt Reynolds is selling over 600 personal items to stave off bankruptcy. The 78-year-old Hollywood star is reportedly struggling financially so will see awards, cars and costumes go under the hammer in Las Vegas next...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Eddie Redmayne's fear of failure
Eddie Redmayne has a fear of failure. The 'Theory of Everything' star has admitted that like fellow actor, Rachel Weisz, he worries about ever getting hired again. He said: ''I was reading an interview with Rachel Weisz...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Where to Find Black Friday Car Deals
The Black Friday Car Sales events have gained traction over the past couple of years. This year several major brands ran nation-wide commercials announcing their Car Black Friday deals. In the beginning it was creative...
Read more on Auto Balla
 
Indian Aces win inaugural IPTL tie
Manila, Nov 28 (IANS) The much-awaited inaugural International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) got off to a flying start with the Indian Aces notching an impressive 26-16 first victory against the Singapore Slammers at...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Australian navy's largest ship commissioned
Canberra, Nov 28 (IANS) HMAS Canberra, a 27,000-tonne landing helicopter dock (LHD), was commissioned Friday, providing the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) with one of the world's most capable and sophisticated amphibious...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Sindhu, Prannoy enter Macau Open semis
Macau, Nov 28 (IANS) Indian shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and H.S. Prannoy came out with contrasting wins to enter their respective semi-finals at the $120,000 Macau Open Grand Prix Gold here Friday. While defending champion...
Read more on Sport Balla