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  [ 36 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • April 29, 2004

Consuming less of some fats and more of others may be of benefit in warding off Alzheimer's disease. Investigators at Rush-Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago made the finding when they looked at the diet records of more than 800 people age 65 and older, and then tracked their rate of falling victim to the illness over 4 years. Those who consumed the largest amount of saturated fat - 25 grams a day, on average - had twice the risk for Alzheimer's as people who ate the least - an average of 13 grams per day. Disease risk was also linked to high intakes of trans fat, which is prevalent in processed foods like margarines and packaged snack foods and baked goods. But other fats appeared to lower Alzheimer's risk - specifically, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, found in nuts, avocados, and vegetable oils like olive, canola, and safflower oil. In fact, people who consumed the most polyunsaturated fat and the least saturated fat had a 70% lower chance of getting Alzheimer's over 4 years than people whose fat intake ratio was reversed. (Source: Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter)

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