There is an overwhelming number of new cases of Alzheimer’s every year. Between 2017 and 2025 every state is expected to have a 14% rise in this horrifying disease. There has been an 89% increase in deaths due to Alzheimer’s between 2000 and 2014 and more than 5,000,000 Americans live with this destroyer of worlds. (1) I work with these precious souls every day and see firsthand the grief and loss that is caused by this devastating disease. Believe me, if you can do anything to decrease your chances of developing Alzheimer’s and other dementias, you really want to do that and the sooner, the better.
Science has searched for the cause of dementia for many years as the incidence of dementia and the accompanying cost for care of these patients has increased. With ever increasing evidence, these disabling diseases have begun to be looked upon as a lifelong or lifestyle disease with many factors affecting it’s development. Of course there are types that have a specific cause such as injury to the brain by trauma or other diseases. That is not the topic of discussion here.
Oh, You’re Not Diabetic?
According to Harvard Health Publishing (2), above normal blood sugar has been linked to dementia. High blood sugar damages arteries through inflammation. At one time, the blood sugar levels of diabetes were considered the “danger zone” for increased risks of dementia but now the evidence supports the idea that elevated blood sugars that are not in the diabetic range can also up your odds. Any incremental increase in blood sugar was associated with increased risk. Prediabetes, blood sugar between 100 and 126 after an 8 hour fast, is in the danger zone. Don’t think that because you are not diabetic that you are immune to the ravages of high blood sugar on your brain.
How Many Times Do We Have To Say This ?
Harvard advises getting 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week and cutting back on your intake of highly refined carbohydrates, particularly foods that contain added sugars such as sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, cane sugar, corn sweetener, raw sugar, honey or fruit juice. At David’s Way, we advise this every day. We tell you to avoid sugar and neither David nor I eat the stuff. I don’t bring it into my house. In all of the research that I have done, I have never uncovered a health benefit of sugar but I have discovered many negative implications.
Other Trouble Makers
Alzheimers.net advises against eating processed foods such as processed cheeses due to the proteins found in them that have been associated with Alzheimer’s. Processed meats and beer contain nitrites which also present a problem. Microwave popcorn contains diacetyl, a chemical that may increase amyloid plaques in the brain. Amyloid plaques are linked to Alzheimer’s Disease. Just as Harvard, this organization also advises against refined carbohydrates including white pasta, cakes, sugar, white rice and white bread. These foods cause insulin spikes in your body which increases inflammation throughout your body and sets you up for all kinds of diseases and dementias. Obesity is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. (3) Obesity triggers vascular dementia which increases the risk of Alzheimer’s. It also increases fat cells which damage the brain white matter and leads to cognitive and intellectual behavior changes. We always advise you to maintain a healthy body fat for optimum health throughout your body.
What Do I Do?
There are some steps that you can take today to decrease your chances of developing this disease. Balance your blood sugar with whole, real foods that are low on the glycemic index chart. Remove refined carbs including sugar from your diet. Eat brain healthy fats such as fatty fish, coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, tree nuts and lean protein. Exercise every day with your doctor’s permission. Studies clearly support the idea that exercise is good for your brain. Control stress. Excess cortisol produced by chronic stress is destructive to your brain and get 8 hours of sleep every night. At David’s Way we teach you to “Make your world small.” by removing people and activities that are merely clutter and have no positive impact on your life. This helps to control stress. We address you as a whole person and controlling stress is paramount to your physical and mental health. Become proactive today and make every effort to preserve your mental health.