By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – I am often asked the question “can our diet have an impact on whether we develop Alzheimer’s or other forms of demetia?”

The answer is a resounding yes.

At its simplest level all you have to do is think about the fact that having cardiovascular disease can increase the risk of mini strokes or vascular damage that can lead to dementia. And then there is the report from Columbia University which showed people who ate more salad as well as nuts, fish, poultry, and particular fruits and vegetables had a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease compared to those who ate more high-fat dairy products, red and organ meats, and butter.

In their study they followed over 2,000 older adults living in New York and assessed them for dementia every one-and-a-half years. They speculated that these foods are rich in vitamin b-12, folate and vitamin e which may be key to reducing Alzheimer’s risk.