In recent studies a person’s eating habits and preferences have been seen as an early warning sign of dementia.

Food cravings

The study showed that some dementia patients began to crave foods with more seasoning and reported that their taste in foods had changed dramatically to wanting more strong-tasting foods or unusual foods. Changes in eating and drinking habits in dementia patient included wanting to drink more soft or sweet drinks and drinking more tea, coffee or water.

Alzheimer’s.net said: : “As most caregivers know, many people who have dementia experience sudden changes in appetite which can lead to appetite loss, weight loss or increased cravings of foods and weight gain. Often people with dementia don’t taste food and experience flavour like they once did, which can change appetite preferences. Because taste buds are diminished as people age, people with dementia opt for heavy foods or foods with a lot of flavour.”

processed foods

A better way…

However, a French study has found that older people who eat a wider variety of healthy foods suffered from lower rate of neurological decline.

The impact of alcohol and diet consumption’s on dementia, mental health and neurological diseases is well-documented. New research from the University of Bordeaux, looked at an individual’s food network and observed how the y of these dietary elements either increased or decreased dementia risk.

French study

The study focused on 1,522 participants selected from a larger group of adults over 65 years old being tracked for dementia risk in Bordeaux, Montpelier and Dijon. The average age was 78 and the majority were women (74%). By the end of the 12-year study, 215 of the participants had been diagnosed with dementia.

Everyone filled in detailed dietary and lifestyle questionnaires and took physical and neurological testing to determine dementia risk. These tests were then taken again annually by all participants under the same clinical conditions.

Results…

The researchers found a significant risk of dementia in individuals who only ate a narrow range of food combinations that consisted of large amounts of processed food, starches and unhealthy snacks. The group that showed the lowest dementia risk were those who consumed a varied diet, including plenty of fruits, vegetables and fewer starches and processed foods.

So next time your reaching for a snack going healthy isn’t just about your waistline!

healthy snacks