If you want to strike fear in the heart of anybody over 50, say the word Alzheimer’s. This scary disease is on the increase in North America. According to the Alzheimer’s Association over 5.4 million Americans are living with the disease. The number of Alzheimer’s deaths have increased by 71%.
In the Alzheimer’s Prevention Food Guide, authors Sue Stillman Linja RDN, LD, and Seanne Safaii-Waite PHD, RDN, LD advise that exercise, diet, and brain activities are all showing great preventative promise. Both authors have had to deal with Alzheimer’s firsthand, in their mothers. With their personal and professional backgrounds, they take the exercise and diet components in hand with this new book.
You will learn why diet can help protect against Alzheimer’s disease. The authors describe how healthy and unhealthy foods affect your brain, as well as which foods are most beneficial. They also provide an easy way to add brain-healthy foods to your daily meal plan.
In their first chapter about the Alzheimer’s type condition, the authors stress this is not a magic bullet. However, consuming a healthy diet shows promise in reducing your risk. I found the section giving the basics about Alzheimer’s, and how it works, particularly helpful. Included were the definitions and differences between Alzheimer’s and Dementia and information about the rise of Alzheimer’s cases. Also mentioned is, who is particularly at risk, the connections between Alzheimer’s and Diabetes, and family history and genetics.
There’s a brief review of nutrition and brain-health, including information on various types of nutrients and fatty acids. They then go on to give quite good detail on how the Western diet promotes Alzheimer’s disease.
Compare Popular Diets
Chapter 2 discusses the various diets who have claimed Alzheimer’s prevention benefits. Compared are the Mediterranean diet, the MIND diet, and the Ketogenic diet. Included is a chart showing the main differences between the three. A group of food categories with recommended serving sizes is next. You should eat these brain-healthy foods every day. The quick chart at the end of the chapter does give you a quick easy reference on your go-to foods.
Foods that nourish and protect the brain are covered in Chapter 3. Over one hundred foods are included, with brief descriptions on how they can positively affect your brain-health. There are 11 categories under which each of these falls, describing the contributions they make. Several of the foods deserve special recognition and have a much more in-depth description. A few of these ingredients are less common, but most are easily recognized. It is worth taking a closer look at them all.
On To The Meal Plans
In chapter 4, a quick chart shows you how you should visualize your plate. This is a lot more helpful than counting calories or having to use a kitchen scale to make sure you are getting your proportions right. I like that they have input a two-week meal plan. I also really like the fact that it isn’t one of those plans that you have to follow to the letter or you won’t make any headway. They encourage you to play around, mix-and-match the foods that work for you and your family.
Finally, the chart at the end offering the brain-healthy food combos, showing which combinations work best together, was very helpful.
Last But Not Least
At the very end of the book, Appendix A offers tips for a healthy lifestyle while Appendix B is a very helpful glossary of terms. Appendix C is an equally helpful resource guide. Included are links to websites for various organizations with more information on topics mentioned in this book.
The last section covers foods found to have the most and the least pesticide loads in commercial crops. A very helpful addition in any food book, a Measurement Conversion Chart, compares Oven Temperature, Volume Equivalents (Liquid and Dry), and Weight Equivalents.
The meal plan recipes aren’t included. I found that a little disappointing. However, the meal plans are specific enough that you could probably create the meals without a recipe. With the basics given and the detailed information, it would be pretty easy-to-follow. It shouldn’t be hard to adjust your current recipes to fit what’s needed for a more brain-healthy version. In all an excellent reference.About the Reviewer:
Chris Sadler is WebAdmin and Reviewer for RecipesNow.com
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