Eating meat and processed foods daily linked to Alzheimer’s disease

A new study found that patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s tended to regularly eat meat and processed foods.

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The daily consumption of meat-based and processed foods is linked to the development of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new study.

Researchers from Bond University in Australia believe they have found a strong association between the degenerative brain disorder and consumption of these foods after studying 438 people.

Of the study participants, 108 had Alzheimer’s disease while 330 were in a control group.

Those diagnosed with the neurological disease regularly ate processed foods such as meat pies, sausages, ham, pizza, and hamburgers, the researchers said.

Their diets consisted of fewer fruits and vegetables as well, while their wine intake was comparatively lower compared to the control group.

A family matter

Tahera Ahmed, the lead author of the study, has a personal connection to this research. She had a grandmother and an aunt who suffered from Alzheimer’s.

“Sadly, we didn’t know it back then. We thought it was just a dementia issue due to old age,” Ahmed said in a statement published by Bond University.

“When I started my research on Alzheimer’s, I realised my grandma had all the symptoms”.

Kuldeep Kumar, who also participated in the research, lost his father to the disease.

Ahmed hopes her research will prompt young people to adopt healthier eating habits to protect their brains.

“Raising awareness among the youth about the benefits of consuming leafy greens, organic foods or home-cooked meals is essential, as opposed to regularly indulging in junk or processed foods,” she added.

Previous studies have also found links between meat-heavy diets and Alzheimer’s disease.

One study publishedlast year in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that dementia risk factors include higher consumption of saturated fats and meats as well as processed and ultra-processed foods.

Alzheimer’s is a fatal disease for which there is currently no treatment or cure. It is the most common form of dementia, thought to account for over 50 per cent of cases.

According to the NGO Alzheimer Europe, more than 7.8 million EU citizens lived with dementia in 2018.