Dementia affects around 800,000 people in the UK. The risk increases as we get older and the condition usually occurs in people over the age of 65. The most common cause of dementia is Alzheimer’s Disease. Although there is no way to prevent dementia, a healthy lifestyle that includes maintaining a healthy weight and eating a balanced diet may help to reduce the risk of developing the condition. In particular, limiting the amount of salt in our diet may help as too much can increase blood pressure, which in turn, increases the risk of developing some types of dementia. High cholesterol levels may also increase the risk so it’s best to limit the amount of saturated fat in your diet and replace it with unsaturated fats such as polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats. Most varieties of white fish and shellfish are low in saturated fats. Meanwhile, most of the fat in oily fish is unsaturated. Some studies also suggest that higher intakes of fish and DHA may be linked with a lower risk of dementia and slow down cognitive decline, although supplements of omega-3 fats don’t seem to have the same effect. Eating one portion of oily fish a week, such as mackerel, sardines, herring, fresh tuna, trout and salmon will naturally help to boost omega-3 fats.
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