Sunday, August 16, 2009

Eight Things to Avoid for People With Dementia

By Esther Dacamay

Since proper nutrition is the building foundation from which our bodies fight off disease, half the battle in improving symptoms of dementia is knowing what NOT to eat, or how NOT to prepare your food. Check out these eight principals that will be sure to make you think twice about what you put into your mouth.

1) No Milk - All dairy milk products should be eliminated from the diet of someone with Dementia. Instead, they should look elsewhere for their dairy needs. Milk made from soy, rice, almonds and goats are best.

2) Where's the Beef? - Eliminate red meat and all processed (i.e., sausages, hot dogs, etc.) meats. Instead, pull your protein from plant-based sources (soy, alfalfa sprouts, etc.) or from fish. Salmon, cod, tuna or sardines are best because they carry high quality omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial to the body.

3) Extra Crispy? - Although the extra crispy chicken from KFC might taste real good, its best to avoid all fast foods and fried foods altogether. They contain too many free-radical-forming agents because of the type of oil it is deep-fried in.

4) Happy Hour! - Reduce your consumption of alcohol. If you are a non-drinker or just a social drinker (only once or twice a month), there are studies that were conducted in France that showed that light alcohol consumption of red wine once or twice a day proved successful in lowering stress levels due to the noted antioxidant activity of the oligomeric proanthocyanidin substances found in the wine.

5) Ban Sugar - It is highly beneficial to eliminate all foods containing refined sugars. These foods include cookies, cakes donuts and brownies. In addition, foods containing Equal/NutraSweet/Saccharin and Aspartame are potentially harmful and should be eliminated as well.

6) No More Red Vines - Licorice is an old fashioned favorite candy treat. However, it should be eliminated from the diet as it potentiates cortisol which leads to compromised potassium intake, thus leading to hypokalemia.

7) Be Happy - Stress can be harmful to the body in many ways including cortisol, which mentioned above compromises potassium intake. In addition, it is very important not to inflict undue stress on the body with things such as red meat, caffeine, refined sugar, processed foods and nicotine.

8) No Aluminum! - Don't cook with any materials made from aluminum. That means no pots, pans or ladles made with aluminum. There has been significant speculation that an intake of aluminum from foods, antacids, cookware or antiperspirants may play a role in contracting Alzheimers disease, a cortical type of dementia.

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