Healthy living tip by Valley Health: Body weight, what you eat tied to brain health

Manage your body weight for the overall health of your brain and body.

A long-term study of 1,500 adults found that those who were obese in middle age were twice as likely to develop dementia in later life. Those who also had high cholesterol and high blood pressure had six times the risk of dementia.

Reduce your intake of foods high in fat and cholesterol. Studies have shown that high intake of saturated fat and cholesterol clogs the arteries and is associated with higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease. However, HDL (or “good”) cholesterol may help protect brain cells. Use mono- and polyunsaturated fats, such as olive oil. Try baking or grilling food instead of frying. Limit animal fats in your diet, from meat as well as whole milk cheese, ice cream, etc.

For help in losing weight, remember you must change your eating habits. Exercise alone is rarely the answer.

More healthy living tips can be found at Valley Health’s online Health Library at www.valleyhealthlink.com/healthlibrary