Receive Alzheimer's treatment and prevention news and analysis from our experts.


Infammation Promoting Foods to Avoid as Part of a Healthy Alzheimer’s Diet

Posted by on Thursday, January 26th, 2017

 foods for the Alzheimer's diet

Many recent studies are exploring the possibility that inflammation could be a prime factor in the Alzheimer’s disease process. The two most common physiologic signs of Alzheimer’s in the brain are, plaques of amyloid beta protein, and tangles of tau protein. Chronic inflammation is also thought to play a major role in Alzheimer’s disease.   For those who want to maintain a healthy Alzheimer’s diet, it is beneficial to know which foods lend themselves to increasing inflammation in the body.

Not All Inflammation is Bad

Contrary to popular belief, not all inflammation in the body is bad.  The immune system triggers inflammation to protect the body from many aliments (including infection).  So, when appropriate levels of inflammation are present, it can be protective.  When it is not, on the other hand, it can contribute to disease.  Take for example a small cut on the skin.  It turns red and swells slightly due to inflammation A small injury of the skin is a self-limiting reaction that normally resolves itself quickly.  This is a completely different scenario from low grade chronic inflammation, caused by the lack of control in the immune response (as seen in the disease process).

Inflammation and Alzheimer’s Disease

Low grade, chronic inflammation is becoming a hot topic of discussion, as it is being targeted as an underlying cause of many diseases.  These include cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and yes, even Alzheimer’s disease.  When it comes to the association between specific foods that increase inflammation, limited scientific proof is available, but there is much speculation on which foods are most likely the culprits.

Clinical Research on Inflammation and Diet

Scientists have identified  inflammatory bio-markers in the blood to determine whether systemic (throughout the body) inflammation is present.  Chronic inflammation releases molecules called cytokines and C-reactive protein (CRP). Research involving the measurement of hsCRP has been performed recently, to test the relationship between specific types of food intake and systemic inflammation. 

Foods to Avoid on the Alzheimer’s Diet- May Increase Inflammation 

 A recent Harvard Health publication listed these foods as inflammation promoting foods to avoid:

-Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread and pastries

-French fries and other fried foods

-Soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages

-Red meat (burgers, steaks) and processed meat (hot dogs, sausage)

-Margarine, shortening, and lard

 Healthy Alzheimer’s Diet Foods-May Decrease Inflammation

Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health was quoted as saying, “Many experimental studies have shown that components of foods or beverages may have anti-inflammatory effects.”

Harvard Health’s list of anti-inflammatory foods:


-Olive oil

-Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and collards

-Nuts like almonds and walnuts

-Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines

-Fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and oranges

The Mediterranean diet is the most studied diet for heart and brain health.  Learn more about foods for Alzheimer’s prevention by CLICKING HERE to purchase the book, “The Alzheimer’s Prevention and Treatment Diet,” written by Harvard trained neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson.

For more easy to follow nutrition advice check out The Alzheimer’s Diet: A Step-by-Step Nutritional Approach to Memory Loss Prevention and Treatment, or visit to learn more about Neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson's 9 week diet plan and his cutting edge approach in the fight against AD in Alzheimer's Treatment | Alzheimer's Prevention: A Patient and Family Guide 2012 Edition. Also, sign up for the newsletter to get the latest updates in AD treatment and prevention news.

Leave a Reply