Globally more than 42 million people have dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common form of dementia.

Diet plays and important role in the risks of dementia.  The highest rates are found in people who follow a ‘western-style’ diet, typified by high intake of red meat, junk foods and full-fat dairy.

Further evidence for the importance of diet has been shown in the Japanese population where rates of dementia were very low.  In transitioning to a more westernised diet, that rates of dementia has grown exponentially in the past 20-25 years.

A new study has follows the development of Alzheimer’s disease in a range of countries that have very different eating patterns.

The countries include; Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Egypt, India, Mongolia, Nigeria, Korea, Sri Lanka and the United States.

Of this list, living the USA carries the highest risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. This is also the population that has the highest intake of red meat. This association with red meat (and animal product) intake also stood out as the most significant risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s disease ion all the other countries.

A diet protecting against Alzheimer’s disease was shown to be rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, low-fat dairy, legumes and fish.  In this study, people from across the globe, who followed this healthier style of eating, halved their risks for developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Last Reviewed: 02/11/2019



References

Grant WB. Using multicountry ecological and observational studies to determine dietary risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2016; 35: 476-489.