I’ve written quite a few times about brain health, including twice this year, including this piece.

When I have written about the “eating well” aspect of brain health, my focus has been on what to eat.

Early this year, Dr. Gabe Mirkin, who has an excellent newsletter on health issues, wrote about ways to help prevent dementia as you age. In that piece, he included information on what foods to severely limit (if not completely eliminate) eating:

…pro-inflammatory foods such as red meat, processed meats, fried foods, foods with added sugar and all drinks with sugar in them including fruit juices and alcohol…Most ultra-processed foods are pro-inflammatory even if they are promoted and packaged to appear “healthful.” …food companies spend so much money advertising that their products are healthful when they are not. Ultra-processed foods usually lack protein, dietary fiber, and micronutrients … (and contain) lots of unhealthful ingredients, such as sugar, salt, fat, artificial colors, preservatives, flavorings, sweeteners, and emulsifiers. Ultra-processed foods include frozen meals, soft drinks and “fruit” drinks, hot dogs, cold cuts, most fast foods, sweet or savory packaged snacks, energy bars and drinks, and so forth. Several studies suggest that ultra-processed foods are associated with dementia and decreased mental functioning (JAMA Neurology, Dec. 5, 2022).

As I have said many times before, the eating recommendations for nearly all diseases are the same, or at least very similar. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, because unhealthy food are often conveniently available, less expensive, and appeal to our taste buds. I’m just as susceptible to the deliciousness of dessert as the next person, but I also find the taste of an apple to be wonderful, and I hope you can similarly satisfy your cravings with healthy options.

Stay well,