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How To Prevent Chronic Disease Through Diet – Part 1

Posted by on Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Alzheimer’s disease has been associated with a variety of other diseases, many of which are attributable to poor diet.  Alzheimer’s is now the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. in a list among such diseases as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes – all illnesses that can be controlled or avoided through a healthy diet.

Preventing Heart Disease and Alzheimer's Through Diet

Image from American Heart Association


While each disease is different, they all have common markers that seem to be precursors to the disease, and each of these markers can be controlled through a proper diet. The more we talk about Alzheimer’s and nutrition, the more we try to emphasize that using nutrition to help prevent Alzheimer’s may actually help prevent these other diseases as well. Today and tomorrow, we will go over some of the conditions physicians look for to see if you are at risk for disease, what these conditions may lead to, and how to use diet to control or eliminate these conditions entirely.


Chronic Inflammation

Inflammatory response in our bodies is a completely natural and necessary process that helps protect our bodies from infection and trauma. However, chronic inflammation can arise when our body remains in this heightened condition. Many studies now show that when the cells in our body remain in this condition, they begin to cause harm to healthy parts of our bodies including arteries, the pancreas, intestinal lining, and joints. If the inflammation remains uncontrolled, it can lead to heart disease, Alzheimer’s, stroke, diabetes, cancer, gluten intolerance, arthritis, and other diseases.


Controlling Chronic Inflammation to Prevent Alzheimer's Disease

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High Cholesterol

Like inflammation, cholesterol is a natural and necessary component to our diets and overall health, but the problem arises when our bodies have too much unhealthy cholesterol. Cholesterol is produced in our bodies and some comes from the foods we eat, and there are two types of cholesterol: LDL and HDL. Many diseases are associated with higher levels of LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and lower levels of HDL (“good” cholesterol). People are generally aware that unhealthy cholesterol levels have been linked to heart disease and stroke, but studies are also showing a link between high cholesterol and the development of amyloid plaques in Alzheimer’s disease.

High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the measure of force it takes your heart to pump blood through your arteries. Healthy arteries are supple and elastic, but if your arteries are regularly stretched and begin to build up cholesterol and plaque, they can begin to harden and your heart has to work harder to pump blood through your body.  As blood pressure builds, the condition can increase your risk for diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.  A recent study from the University of California Davis found that even slightly elevated blood pressure can reduce brain function in people under 40 and eventually lead to Alzheimer’s disease.


Prevent High Blood Pressure and Alzheimer's Through Diet

Image from anitacardioresp


Each of these conditions can be managed or even eliminated through adopting a diet focused on consuming more plants – in the form of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains – and significantly reducing the amount of simple carbohydrates you consume. Tomorrow we will address other conditions linked to deadly diseases that can be controlled through consumption of a healthy diet and focus on specific dietary habits you should adopt to help avoid disease.


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.

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