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Foods to Avoid With Dementia

Dementia refers to memory decline that usually results from damaged brain cells. In addition to your memory, dementia also affects your physical movement, language or social capabilities. More than simply forgetting where you placed your keys, dementia can make it difficult to tend to your usual life. You may have trouble bathing, feeding or dressing yourself or become easily lost. Although no known cure for dementia exists, medications and lifestyle changes, including a healthy diet, may improve your condition.

High-Fat Meats

High-fat meats are rich in the unhealthy fat-form saturated fat. Although small amounts of saturated fat fit within a healthy, balanced diet, moderate intake may contribute to dementia and Alzheimer's disease -- the most common form of dementia 2. In a study published in "Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders" in May 2006, researchers analyzed the fat intake of 1,449 adults ages 65 to 80, 117 of whom had dementia 2. Researchers concluded that improving dietary fat intake may be particularly important in people genetically predisposed to dementia.

Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil

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Hydrogenated vegetable oil is an artificially produced fat form that contains rich amounts of trans-fatty acids, or trans-fats. Managing your cholesterol is important, according to the Alzheimer's Association, because high cholesterol can lead to clogged arteries, which is associated with heightened risk for Alzheimer's disease.

Enriched Starches

Starches, such as breads, cereal and pasta, provide glucose -- your body's main dietary source of energy. People with Alzheimer's frequently forget to eat, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, and are prone to malnutrition 1. Keeping your kitchen stocked with whole grains instead of enriched starches can help ensure that your food choices are nutritious, and guards against diet-related complications.

Added Sugars

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The UMMC recommends that people with Alzheimer's disease avoid refined foods, sugar in particular, and consume more nutritious and hydrating foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Replace jelly with all-fruit spread, apple sauce or fresh fruit and doughnuts and pastries with low-fat bran muffins.

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