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  • You are What You Eat, Choose Wisely


    I’ll make a confession, I’m biased towards a plant-based diet. I’ve been a vegetarian since childhood, and I’m one of the few New Englanders (I am certain!) to have never had a bite of seafood. Our culture is historically meat-centric, whether by cultural or economic motivation. Simply put, it’s cheaper to eat things that are bad for us.

    But what might the ultimate cost be to our health? There’s a ton of studies linking the consumption of animal protein to increased risk of Heart Disease, Stomach cancer, Obesity, etc…. But what if now there may be a link to developing Dementia? Would preserving your brain health be incentive enough to ditch the burgers? Your clogged arteries will thank you.

    Clogged arteries and Alzheimer’s are closely linked by looking at a study in which people who had Alzheimer’s were monitored for a decline in cognitive abilities. The study showed that those who developed Alzheimer’s, but who had less fatty deposits in their arteries, worsened at a much slower rate than people who had a great deal of cholesterol build up in their brains. Another study showed that people who had Alzheimer’s who had their atherosclerosis treated also declined more slowly than those who were left untreated.

    Clogged arteries have a number of causes although a lot can be done to prevent arteries becoming clogged by changes in lifestyle. Regular exercise as well as avoiding foods that are high in cholesterol and trans fats will reduce your risk of heart disease by stopping your arteries becoming clogged up with fatty deposits. Unsurprisingly processed foods are on the list of foods to avoid including oils but so are meat, eggs and dairy.

    Although not entirely plant-based one study reported in the CNN article has suggested that a diet high in vegetables can reduce the risk of dementia in healthy adults by up to one third. Considering the increasing rates of the disease it’s certainly a step in the right direction.

    However, given the fact that all vegan foods have no cholesterol, a major player in the lead up to Alzheimer’s, it might be safer just to ditch the meat, eggs and dairy altogether.

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