Numerous recent studies have highlighted the need to improve the way in which humans feed. The diets considered healthy they stand out for their absence in many societies, or at least for having few followers, and it is known that the ‘western diet’ based on processed foods and ultraprocessed he is guilty of many diseases.
However, the increased health risks may not have to do exclusively with the food itself, but with how we combine it. This is suggested by a new study published in the magazine Neurology and in charge of the American Academy of Neurology. And it is that, as he affirms, although the consumption of ultra-processed foods would be harmful to health, the lack of variety combinations within the diet would also have a key role in increase the risk of dementia.
Within the study, the researchers looked at the food webs “of individuals, concluding that those with diets based on processed meats, starches how potatoes and sandwiches, and pastries how cookies and cakes, They had more likely to develop dementia years later compared to those with a wider food variety.
This is indicated Cecilia Samieri, researcher and main author of the study, from the University of Bordeaux (France). According to the researcher, there would be a complex connection between the food consumed, and its variety within a diet, and its effects on brain health and the potential future risk of dementia. In fact, several previous studies have already suggested that a healthier diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and fish can reduce the risk of dementia.
The focus of these investigations was the quantity and frequency of consumption of these foods, but in this new study we tried to go further, analyzing the ways in which the food was consumed together, comparing individuals who developed dementia with those who remained healthy.
To demonstrate these effects, we analyzed 209 individuals aged 78 years on average, diagnosed with dementia, and were compared with 418 healthy people, matching them by age, sex and educational level in order to avoid bias.
All participants had completed a food survey five years before, describing what type of food they consumed during the year and how often: from less than once a month to more than four times a day. They also underwent medical check-ups every two or three years, and it was analyzed whathe ate food together, both in the cases of patients with dementia and in healthy patients.
According to their results, although there were few differences in the amount of food each participant consumed individually, the groups or food webs yes they were significantly different between the participants of both groups.
In the case of participants diagnosed with dementia, the food webs were based on processed meats; Furthermore, these people were more likely to combine meats like sausages, sausages or pates with starchy foods like potatoes and snacks, and also with pastries such as cookies or cakes, not forgetting alcohol.
According to the researchers, this could suggest that not only the quantity of ultra-processed foods consumed, but also the way of combining them. In fact, people without dementia were more likely to consume similar meat, but accompanying her more diverse foods, such as vegetables, fruits, or seafood.
In general, the participants without dementia were more likely to consume a greater variety of foods in your diet, including healthier food like fruitas and vegetables, seafood, and other meats like poultry.
Therefore, the researchers suggest, the variety and diversity in the diet, and greater inclusion of healthy food, would key to preventing dementia. In fact, they suggest, these differences in diet could be seen years before the diagnosis of dementia, something that could help carry out an early diagnosis and adequate prevention of the disease.
However, to finish, the study is not without limitations: food surveys were completed, so one would expect failures in the ability to correctly remember the food consumed; In addition, diets were only recorded once, years before dementia began, and it is unknown if the participants brought any change in your diet throughout the study time.