How you live and what you eat can affect your risk of dementia. People who are overweight or obese in middle age and/or have higher cholesterol levels have a much higher risk of suffering from dementia later in life. The saturated fat found in meat and dairy foods drives up cholesterol levels, which is why vegans tend to have much healthier, lower levels. Given the ever-increasing levels of obesity, this raises very real concerns about the number of people suffering from dementia in the future. A vegan diet and healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk of dementia.

You may be able to prevent or delay dementia by eating a healthy, balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight, which is much easier on a vegan diet. Avoid animal-based foods, eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day, pulses (peas, beans and lentils), wholegrain foods such as brown rice, wholemeal bread and wholemeal pasta, nuts and seeds and take a vitamin B12 supplement.


Find out more about diet and cognitive health here and what you need to eat each day here.

See Alzheimer’s disease.

Find out more about dementia here and see our Nutrition News on the topic.

Find out how you can lose and maintain a healthy weight here or try the 5:2 Vegan Style diet.



We know that diet influences our nervous system in the long term and has been linked to dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions. All the foods linked to an array of other diseases – such as foods rich in saturated fats (dairy and meat products), processed meats, fat and sugar laden snacks and desserts – are also linked to a higher chance of cognitive decline. A vegan diet that’s naturally high in antioxidants, fibre and low in saturated fats helps protect your cognitive health and can lower your risk of some neurodegenerative diseases.