Back in the 80s, I remember a few fad diets that were based on the idea that you shouldn’t combine certain types of foods. That always struck me as overcomplicated and unnecessary—especially since simple, straightforward approaches like low carb diets offer better, more sustainable results.
But I recently came across an interesting study suggesting that certain combinations of foods can have a big impact on dementia risk.
Quality of food always matters
French researchers from the University of Bordeaux found that people with diets consisting mainly of ultra-processed and starchy foods were significantly more likely to wind up with dementia than peers with diets featuring a wider mix of healthy foods—even if they also ate some processed foods.
Now, I’m guessing I don’t need to point out the obviousness of this conclusion. There’s nothing groundbreaking about that particular takeaway.
Not to mention, just once, I’d like to see a study showing just how much brain benefit there is in cutting the garbage out of your diet entirely. Because as I’m always telling you, there isn’t any value in processed junk foods at all.
Still, what makes this research unique is that the scientists chose to focus on the combinations of the foods consumed—not just the amounts of any given food. And that’s an important distinction…
Variety is important
Researchers examined food “networks”—or the interplay between foods, including alcohol and other drinks—to see how co-consumption influenced outcomes. Subjects took comprehensive dietary surveys alongside interviews with trained dieticians.
Ultimately, results showed that while the amounts of food consumed didn’t differ significantly, the subjects’ overall diets did. And those most likely to develop dementia were also more likely to have diets based primarily on processed meat, potatoes and other starchy foods, alcohol, and highly processed snacks.
Meanwhile, the least likely to develop dementia were the subjects with a more diverse diet that included a range of healthier foods.
Again, I can’t imagine a less shocking conclusion. But rest assured, this is yet another nail in the coffin for poor dietary choices. And another win for healthy, balanced diets (like my A-List Diet.)
As I’m always telling you, following a balanced diet that combines a variety of healthy foods—like fresh, organic produce, lean meats, and nuts and seeds—offers significant protection to your overall health, including your cognition, and helps ward off chronic disease.
Because the truth is, obesity, cancer, diabetes, and other chronic health diseases are directly attributable to the food we eat. And it’s all but a foregone conclusion that the path to an early grave is paved with heavily processed junk food.
So, say NO to ultra-processed, “Frankenfoods”, and make smart dietary choices—starting today. With spring now upon us, I encourage you to take advantage of your local farmer’s markets… where you can always be sure you’re getting wholesome, fresh, healthy food no matter which part of the market you wander through!
But if you find yourself in the supermarket, all it takes is a little extra diligence. If it comes in a box, bag, or cellophane package, and lists ingredients you can’t pronounce, it’s probably not the best choice. In other words, stick to the perimeter of the grocery store—where the fresh, whole foods are stored.
For extra guidance, be sure to order yourself a copy of my A-List Diet book (found under the “books” tab of my website, www.DrPescatore.com, or at www.AListDietBook.com)—and follow me on Instagram (@drfrednyc) and YouTube (“The Dr. Fred Show”), where I always cook with a variety of fresh foods. After all, nutritious meals can be simple and delicious!
And finally, for additional ways to naturally help protect and restore memory, strengthen focus, and fight dementia, I encourage you to check out my Alzheimer’s Prevention and Treatment Plan. To learn more about this comprehensive online learning tool, or to enroll today, click here or call 1-866-747-9421 and ask for order code EOV3X401.
“Diet and Dementia Risk: New Food for Thought.” Medscape Medical News, 04/24/2020. (medscape.com/viewarticle/929318)