Study finds delicious food to be linked to Alzheimer’s disease

Unfortunately, people are not going to eat less pizza and hamburgers anytime soon.

A recent study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and conducted by researchers at Bond University has established a significant correlation between Alzheimer's disease and the regular consumption of meat-based and processed foods. 

The research, involving 438 Australians (108 with Alzheimer's and 330 in a healthy control group), revealed that those diagnosed with Alzheimer's tended to have a diet rich in items such as meat pies, sausages, ham, pizza, and hamburgers, while also exhibiting lower intake of fruits and vegetables like oranges, strawberries, avocado, capsicum, cucumber, carrots, cabbage, and spinach.

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Additionally, their consumption of both red and white wine was comparatively lower than that of the healthy control group, the authors said in a statement

Basically, they tracked what participants ate in order to establish any links to developing Alzheimer's later on.

Alzheimer's disease, a fatal form of dementia with no current treatment or cure, affects up to 1 in 10 Australians aged over 65, rising to 3 in 10 over 85. It stands as the leading cause of death and disability among Australians aged over 65.

Lead author Tahera Ahmed, a PhD candidate at Bond University, expressed hope that the study's findings would motivate young people to adopt healthier diets to safeguard their brain health in later life.

She emphasized that Alzheimer's development in the brain begins in middle age and can be attributed to an uncontrolled lifestyle from a younger age.

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Ahmed urged raising awareness among the youth about the benefits of consuming leafy greens, organic foods, or home-cooked meals instead of regularly indulging in processed or junk foods, as such dietary habits impact brain health and contribute to vascular issues and obesity.

While previous studies have highlighted the positive effects of the Mediterranean or DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) on brain health, this study is believed to be the first to establish a link between processed foods and Alzheimer's.

Ahmed, who works in health statistics at the Bond Business School, intends to expand her research on Alzheimer's by exploring potential connections between the disease and sleeping disorders, depression, eating disorders, occupation, and marital status.

Her personal connection to the research stems from her paternal grandmother and aunt suffering from Alzheimer's, and her supervisor, Professor Kumar, losing his father to the disease.

The study utilized data from the Australian Imaging Biomarker and Lifestyle Study of Aging, which has been tracking a group of people since 2006, observing the development of Alzheimer's in some participants.

Key features of the DASH diet include:

1. Rich in Fruits and Vegetables: The diet encourages the consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables, which are high in potassium, magnesium, and fiber.

2. Lean Protein Sources: The DASH diet recommends lean protein sources such as poultry, fish, beans, nuts, and seeds, instead of red meat.

3. Whole Grains: Whole grains, such as brown rice, whole wheat, and oats, are promoted in the DASH diet for their fiber and nutrient content.

4. Dairy: Low-fat or fat-free dairy products are encouraged as a source of calcium and other essential nutrients.

5. Nuts, Seeds, and Legumes: Inclusion of these foods provides healthy fats, protein, and additional nutrients.

6. Limited Sodium: The DASH diet suggests reducing sodium intake, which is achieved by minimizing the consumption of processed and packaged foods and using herbs and spices for flavor instead of salt.

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This research is part of a growing number of studies demonstrating that what people eat may impact whether they develop dementia or Alzheimer's later in life. 

Unfortunately, there are no signs that people will change their eating habits anytime soon or slow down with pizzas, hamburgers, meat pies, sausages, hams, or crusty potato chips.

The writer of this article is an occasional Pepsi sucker. You can buy him a natural fruit drink via PayPal: office[at] or