Memory diseases have increased as people live to be older. Seven methods have tremendous health effects.
According to US researchers, lifestyle choices have a significant impact on the risk of memory disorders. And best of all, the same choices can also increase the number of years you live. They also have other good health effects.
British newspaper The Telegraph researchers found seven lifestyle choices that, if followed in middle age, reduce the risk of dementia later in life. Memory disorders have become more common in Finland and around the world in recent years.
They followed nearly 14,000 middle-aged women for 20 years and found that the more of these habits the women followed, the lower their risk of dementia.
Adopting just one point of the instructions reduced the risk of dementia by about six percent. This suggests that following all seven could reduce risk by as much as 42 percent.
The list is very similar to the list of seven basic rules for a heart-healthy life prepared in the United States. So following the rules below is good in many ways.
1. Sufficient activity
According to the researchers who compiled the list, at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise should fit into the week.
The amounts are the same as In the domestic recommendation for movement of working-age people prepared by the UKK Institute.
The Finnish guidelines also emphasize that the exerciser does not need to exercise for long periods at a time. Clips of a few minutes are enough, if there are enough of them.
2. Smart diet
According to American researchers, a dementia-preventing diet includes 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables per day. Finnish half a kilo a day is therefore a good goal.
It is good to eat fish twice a week, and whole grain products should be consumed three portions a day.
Instead, drinks flavored with sugar should be consumed at a maximum of one liter per week, and the use of salt should not exceed the recommended limits. in Finland the maximum recommended intake of salt, i.e. sodium chloride, is less than 5 grams (less than 1 teaspoon) per day.
3. Staying at a healthy weight
A healthy weight means that the body mass index is between 18.5 and 25.
4. Not smoking
The healthiest is if you have never smoked. You should stop smoking. According to the Telegraph’s story, its beneficial effects in terms of dementia risk begin to be seen after a year.
Previous studies have also found that quitting smoking extends life even after 60 years. Mere reduction is not necessarily enough, because even one cigarette a day has harmful health effects.
5. Keeping blood pressure under control
The blood pressure recommended by US researchers is below 120/80 mmHg. Heart union according to this is the ideal blood pressure reading.
In home measurements, the limit of elevated blood pressure is 135/85 mmHg. Blood pressure measured by a doctor or nurse is elevated if the results are repeatedly at least 140/9 mmHg.
6. Keeping the cholesterol level in check
Cholesterol values should be monitored, and if they start to rise, something should also be done about it. The recommendation for total cholesterol is less than 5.0 mmol/l.
The target value for the so-called bad cholesterol, i.e. LDL cholesterol, is below 3.0 mmol/l, but even a value lower than the recommended value is not bad. A person’s natural level is about half of that.
The target level of good or HDL cholesterol is over 1.0 mmol/l for men and over 1.2 mmol/l for women.
Lowering cholesterol not only reduces the risk of dementia but also the risk of, for example, cardiovascular diseases. Cholesterol medication can also help for the prevention of age-related macular degeneration.
7. Keeping blood sugar low
It is necessary to keep the blood glucose content, i.e. blood sugar, under control. Normally, fasting blood sugar, i.e. the blood glucose concentration measured after 12 hours of fasting, is 3.5–6.0 mmol/l.
High blood sugar that continues for a long time is a dangerous condition. Values can be high due to, for example, diabetes or being overweight.
The preliminary results of the American study were published in February. The study will be presented at a neurological conference in the United States in April.