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Warning: These Everyday Habits Seriously Up Your Dementia Risk!

Reader's Digest Logo By Jenn Sinrich of Reader's Digest | Slide 1 of 9: You already know a nutritional, well-balanced diet is essential to your heart and weight. But food's benefits for the brain are sometimes overlooked. 'The brain needs healthy fats, lean proteins, vitamins and minerals to function properly,' says Howard Fillit, MD, founding executive director and chief scientist of the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) and the ADDF's Cognitive Vitality Program. Also, research shows that people who have a diet high in saturated fats are more likely to develop dementia. The best nutrition you can give your brain is a diet full of fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Replace butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil, and limit your intake of red meat, instead opting for other lean protein sources including chicken and fish. Here's a guide to the best brain food.

Eating a poor diet

The biggest dementia risk factors—age and family history—can't be changed, but scientists have identified others that can be changed or modified to reduce risk of cognitive decline or dementia.

You already know a nutritional, well-balanced diet is essential to your heart and weight. But food's benefits for the brain are sometimes overlooked. 'The brain needs healthy fats, lean proteins, vitamins and minerals to function properly,' says Howard Fillit, MD, founding executive director and chief scientist of the Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) and the ADDF's Cognitive Vitality Program. Also, research shows that people who have a diet high in saturated fats are more likely to develop dementia. The best nutrition you can give your brain is a diet full of fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains. Replace butter with healthy fats, such as olive oil, and limit your intake of red meat, instead opting for other lean protein sources including chicken and fish. Here's a guide to the best brain food.

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