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Your healthy food is not going to protect you from dementia

Having a good healthy diet is extremely important and everyone knows that. You should eat enough fruits and vegetables, while at the same time restrain yourself from eating too many sweets and junk food. However, sometimes there are certain myths about a healthy diet. Scientists from UCL say that the quality of adults’ diet in midlife is actually not associated with later risk of dementia.

A healthy diet may not be a factor in the development of dementia. Image credit: flagstaffotos[at]gmail.com via Wikimedia (GFDL 1.2)

Dementia is something a lot of us fear and we do want to prolong our healthy life. However, your diet may not matter that much in terms of the risk of dementia. Scientists analysed data from over 8,000 adults over two decades and fount that their diet could not be linked to risk of dementia. This somewhat argues against several studies that found that diet after age 60 may be linked to cognitive health. However, these studies did not cover enough time to actually be accurate enough.  The simple truth is, it may not matter what you eat once your reach a certain point in your life.

Participants included people around 50 years old that had no diagnosis of dementia. 25 years later 344 cases of dementia among these adults were recorded. Some of these people really did take care of themselves, having a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and legumes, omega-3 fatty acids and most polyunsaturated fatty acids. Meanwhile others did not put such a strong emphasis on their diet and ate all kinds of unhealthy stuff. Scientists could not find a correlation between a healthy diet and lower risk of dementia later in life. This could mean that a healthy diet is not a good measure to protect yourself from dementia. On the other hand, it is still important in terms of longevity, cancer and having a strong body for longer.

Even though scientists did not find links between the diet and dementia, they definitely exist between diet and mortality. The healthier the food you are going to eat, the better you are going to feel and less diseases you are going to have. However, it seems like a bad diet does not really increase the risk of dementia. Dr Séverine Sabia, co-author of the study, said: “Further studies are needed to show whether diet plays a role for prevention of dementia in combination with other lifestyles or in sub-groups at increased risk of dementia”. But what can people take from this study?

Well, you should not feel that guilty for eating that piece of cake once in a while. But still, a healthy diet is what your body needs and craves. You should try making a change for the better to improve yourself. Eventually you will feel better and will live longer. Even if it will not make a difference in terms of your cognitive abilities later in life.

 

Source: UCL


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