New research has found yet another link to what we eat and Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic tracked people between the ages of 70 and 89.1
After four years, they found that the group of people showing signs of mild cognitive impairment had a higher intake of one particular type of common food. In fact, the people who got the majority of their calories from this food had a much higher risk of developing dementia. Four times to be exact. 2
The results even shocked the researchers…
Lead researcher Dr. Rosebud Roberts said, “I thought the big problem would be eating too little protein.”
But it wasn’t.
So what raised the risk of dementia?
Diets loaded with carbohydrates.
Dr. Roberts and her team say the high glucose found in carbohydrates is to blame.
“Sugar fuels the brain, so moderate intake is good. However, high levels of sugar may actually prevent the brain from using the sugar,” she said.
From the study, scientists found that sugar affects blood vessels in the brain. The high sugar intake develops a protein that acts as plaque and clogs spaces between brain’s nerve cells. Blockage in the brain is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Colette Heimowitz, vice president of Nutrition and Education for Atkins Nutritionals Inc. and who was not part of the study says, “This (study) is consistent with what we’ve seen in past published research on how a lower carbohydrate diet can help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.”
Researchers also found that protein did make a difference. People who ate more protein had a 21 percent reduced risk of developing dementia. While those who consumed more fats from nuts and oils dropped their risk by 42 percent.
That doesn’t mean load up on just protein and fat. As Dr. Roberts says, “you need a balanced diet of protein, fats and carbohydrates.”
So how should you adjust your diet to ward off dementia?
There are many diets out there pushing low-carb. There is the Mediterranean diet that is primarily made up of plant-based foods.3 That includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. The Mediterranean diet also includes fish and poultry as its protein base.
Then there’s the Paleo diet, also known as the Caveman Diet.4 This is the one we highly recommend. We’ve written about it before. It sticks to what our ancestors used to eat: meat, fish, eggs, tree nuts, vegetables, roots, fruits, and berries. Everything straight from the earth. No processed junk.
You already know that a simplified diet, one high in fruits, vegetables, and protein helps your heart. But now it may just save your memory too.
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