Research from the Mayo Clinic, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease found that diets rich in carbohydrates are associated with an 89% increased risk for dementia. However a diet rich in healthful fats like fish oils is associated with a 44% reduced risk. The research demonstrates that Alzheimer’s and dementia is a LIFESTYLE condition and therefor one that can be avoided or managed.
According to recent research published in the magazine ‘Neurology’, long term higher blood sugar levels have a profoundly negative influence on cognition, which the researchers believe is "possibly mediated by structural changes in learning-relevant brain areas”.
One of the most important aspects of the study was that these negative effects occurred even in people without type 2 diabetes, which suggests even if you're "healthy," keeping your blood sugar levels lower than what is typically considered "normal" is probably still best for your brain health. The researchers noted that “strategies aimed at lowering glucose levels even in the normal range may beneficially influence cognition in the older population."
It's becoming increasingly clear that the same pathological process that leads to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes may also lead to dementia. As you over-indulge on sugar and grains, your brain becomes overwhelmed by the consistently high levels of insulin and eventually shuts down its insulin signaling, leading to impairments in your thinking and memory abilities, and eventually causing permanent brain damage. This has led dementia and Alzheimer’s to be labelled type 3 diabetes.
If you are looking for a strategy to remain with your thinking abilities until a ripe old age, think about the nature of the brain. It is 60% fatty tissue. The brain needs fats, good fats not trans fats, to remain healthy. When you cut dietary fat and keep protein about the same, you're most likely to substitute with health-harming carbohydrate foods, predominantly grains. Beneficial health-promoting fats that your body—and your brain in particular—needs for optimal function include organic butter from raw milk, avocados, olives, organic virgin olive oil, and coconut oil, nuts like pecans and macadamia, free-range eggs and high quality fish oil supplements for example...
high fat and
...are fundamental to retaining good cognitive health.
Most low-carbohydrate diets advocates were very accepting of, if not promoting, high protein, and protein was, and still is, often recommended as a replacement for the carbohydrates. However, a high-fat, low-carb diet is very different than a high-protein, low-carb diet and this is a major source of confusion by both the public and researchers when doing studies and publishing conclusions. The average amount of protein recommended for most adults is about one gram of protein per kilogram of LEAN body mass, or one-half gram of protein per pound of lean body weight. (As an example, if your body fat mass is 20%, your lean mass is 80% of your total body weight.) In short, most people consume too much low-quality protein and carbohydrates, and not enough healthy fat. The key is to eat high-quality natural fats, and a lot of them.
Lifestyle strategies that promote neuro-genesis and re-growth of brain cells include the following...
- Reduce (non-vegetable) carbohydrate consumption, including sugars and grains. Increase healthy fat consumption.
- Increase your omega-3 fat intake and reduce consumption of damaged omega-6 fats (think processed vegetable oils) in order to balance your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio. I recommend www.Igennus.com ethyl-EPA 90% concentration of omega 3 fatty acids to reduce the omega 6 Arachadonic Acids causing so much inflammation. Use my code CSILLARS25 to obtain a 25% discount.
- Exercise - Physical activity produces biochemical changes that strengthen and renew not only your body but also your brain—particularly areas associated with memory and learning.
- Reduce overall calorie consumption, including intermittent fasting.
All of these strategies target a specific gene pathway called BDNF or brain-derived neuro-trophic factor, which promotes brain cell growth and connectivity as demonstrated on MRI scans (as exemplified by the work of Professor Basant Puri at the Hammersmith Hospital London and now at Imperial College).
So if you're looking for the most straightforward way to lower your risk of dementia, including Alzheimer's, this is the plan to follow. As you'll notice, a great deal of the plan involves modifying your diet to lower unhealthful carbohydrates and increase healthful fats, especially fish oils. For more information and a consultation please contact Cynthia on 07599520406. If I don't answer the 'phone straight away please leave a message.
Article written by Cynthia Sillars - Darlington
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