Eating a healthy breakfast is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but it is especially important for those with dementia. Unfortunately, many people with dementia have poor breakfast habits that can lead to a variety of health problems. In this article, dietitians will discuss the worst breakfast habits for dementia and provide tips on how to make healthier breakfast choices. We will also provide some delicious and nutritious breakfast ideas that are sure to please even the pickiest of eaters. So, if you or someone you know has dementia, read on to learn more about the worst breakfast habits and how to make healthier choices.
The Worst Breakfast Habits for Dementia, Say Dietitians — Eat This Not That
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it’s especially important for those at risk of dementia. According to dietitians, there are certain breakfast habits that can increase the risk of developing dementia. Here are the worst breakfast habits for dementia, and what you should be eating instead.
1. Eating Too Much Sugar
Eating too much sugar can increase your risk of developing dementia. Sugar can cause inflammation in the brain, which can lead to cognitive decline. To reduce your risk of dementia, limit your sugar intake and opt for healthier breakfast options like oatmeal, eggs, or a smoothie.
2. Eating Too Much Processed Food
Processed foods are high in sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats, all of which can increase your risk of dementia. Instead of processed foods, opt for whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. These foods are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that can help protect your brain health.
3. Eating Too Little Protein
Protein is essential for brain health, and not getting enough can increase your risk of dementia. To get enough protein, try adding eggs, nuts, or Greek yogurt to your breakfast. These foods are packed with protein and can help keep your brain healthy.
4. Eating Too Much Caffeine
Caffeine can be beneficial in moderation, but too much can increase your risk of dementia. To reduce your risk, limit your caffeine intake and opt for healthier alternatives like green tea or herbal tea. These drinks are packed with antioxidants that can help protect your brain health.
Eating a healthy breakfast is essential for brain health, and there are certain habits that can increase your risk of dementia. To reduce your risk, limit your sugar and processed food intake, get enough protein, and limit your caffeine intake. Eating a balanced breakfast can help keep your brain healthy and reduce your risk of dementia.
Dementia can be a devastating diagnosis to receive. And one of the most difficult aspects of dementia to deal with is the fact that a cure hasn’t been discovered yet. However, there are thankfully plenty of treatments and medications that are continually being researched as effective solutions for slowing down its progression.
For example, your diet and nutrition play an enormous role in slowing down dementia. With a healthy diet, medication, exercise, and cognitive treatments, your chances of slowing down the progression increase greatly.
But what does a brain-healthy diet include, and what are some of the eating habits people with dementia may want to stay away from? To learn more, we talked with some expert dietitians about the worst breakfast habits for dementia. Read on, and for more healthy eating tips, check out The #1 Best Food To Eat Daily To Slow Aging, Says Dietitian.
While a good old-fashioned breakfast sausage and egg combo is a delicious way to start your day, dietitians warn that too much processed meat can contribute to poorer cognitive health over time.
“Processed breakfast meats such as sausage and bacon can be problematic because they are highly inflammatory. This is because of their added nitrites, processing, and animal proteins and fats, which can increase inflammation (IGF-1) in the body and may increase plaques in the brain,” says Dana Ellis Hunnes, PhD, MPH, RD, a registered dietitian and author of Recipe for Survival.
Consuming too much added sugar is one of the more harmful breakfast habits you can have for many aspects of your health, including your brain health.
“Sugar and processed foods are highly inflammatory and can increase blood sugars and the insulin response, as well as the inflammatory response (IGF-1). Individuals with dementia should try and eat a whole, mostly plant-based diet as much as possible, due to it being anti-inflammatory, high in phyto(plant)-nutrients, antioxidants, and other nutrients (fiber) that are very healthy and beneficial for brain health,” says Hunnes.
Although it can be tempting to skip breakfast on your busiest days, this habit may not be good for your brain.
“Skipping breakfast is the worst breakfast habit for dementia. Eating breakfast provides you with the energy you need to stay active all day long. Breakfast also helps you focus. Studies show that people who skip breakfast have a higher risk of developing dementia,” says Bill Bradley, RD, a registered dietitian and CEO at Mediterranean Living.
It’s okay to have a little bit of saturated fat in your diet, but experts warn that consuming too much of it can lead to some unwanted health issues, especially in regards to your cognitive health.
“When you can, pass on the cheesy omelet with bacon, home fries, and butter. These are packed with saturated fat, another inflammation booster. Studies on the MIND diet for cognitive health show that added sugar and saturated fat play a big role in worsening cognitive health and dementia and increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Anne Danahy, RDN.