Published in the journal Neurology, this new study on obesity warns people particularly against obesity in middle age, which can lead to dementia later on in life. A BMI of 20-25 is considered healthy, 26-30 is overweight, 30+ is obese.
The research was conducted on 1,137,000 women with an average age of 56. They tracked the women’s diet and exercise regimen across an average of 18 years, and discovered that women who were obese at the beginning of the study had a 21 per cent greater risk of dementia. Of the obese women, 2.1% would go on to have dementia eventually, vis a vis 1.6% with lesser BMI. Obesity—which increases risk of cerebrovascular disease—in midlife was traced to dementia 15 or more years later.
If you really want to prevent obesity, here are some easy tips:
- Say no to fad diets: There is no substitute for a healthy, balanced diet. You should have fats, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, and a bunch of essential vitamins like Vitamin C, D, and B12 regularly. Say no to fried foods; cook food at home as much as you can.
- Protein is a must: Proteins build muscle mass, so make sure you have enough pulses or lean meat in your diet. Eggs, nuts and seeds, soy and soya products, and fish are rich sources of protein.
- White sugar is poison: Refined sugar is full of empty calories and kills the good bacteria in your gut. Try natural sugars instead, like jaggery, dates and honey.
- There is no substitute for exercise: You need to do a combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercises—to lose weight and gain muscle respectively. Aerobic exercise could be walking or swimming or playing a sport—it will help you burn calories. While anaerobic exercise constitutes strength training and weight training, which will help you lose bad fat and carve out your muscles.
- Ignore stress: As much as you can! There will be stressful situations in life but calming techniques like yoga, meditation or a warm bath or even a brisk walk will help you release the negative energies. Taking stress can seriously deter your weight loss goals.
- Good sleep can change your life: No one talks about this much, but there’s nothing like good sleep to balance your hormones, rejuvenate your skin and give you overall good health. If you sleep less, you are bound to overeat because you need that extra energy to do your daily chores. For desired weight loss, 7-8 hours of sleep every night is a must.