Due to the aging population in the United States, with the last of the “Baby Boomer” generation turning 50 and the upper end of it turning 70, a great deal of research has become focused on the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and possible ways to prevent it. Each new study published is giving us more and more hints as to what might be contributing factors.
Two of them are a high carbohydrate diet in general, and high consumption of sugar in particular.
High carbohydrate diets
The high carbohydrate diet came about in part from the conclusion of medical experts more than 40 years ago that fat was bad for us and had to be removed from commercial food products. In order to replace flavor and make the new low-fat foods more palatable, however, they added sugar. Fast forward to the present day and Americans are unhealthier than ever.
One voice in the wilderness in those early low-fat days was Dr. Atkins. He argued that carbohydrates were the killer, not fat. Excess carbs get stored as fat, he said, so cutting down carbs would naturally cut down on body fat and fat storage.
Since then, his diet has gone from mocked to mainstream, with countless people successfully losing weight and keeping it off by following the Atkins diet.
Studies have shown that the average American consumes about 300 grams of carbs a day. The Atkins diet slashes that to 20 in the first 2 weeks, up to 60 if a person is in the maintenance phase once they have lost weight and want to keep it off.
Not all carbs are equal
All foods have some carbs, but not all carbs are created equal. Diets high in simple carbohydrates such as table sugar have been linked to Alzheimer’s.
Low carb diets containing slow carbs, that is, foods that take some time to digest and release their carbs, such as oats and quinoa, have been associated with a heart-healthy and brain healthy diet.
Artificial sweeteners cause damage as well
Sugar might not be the only culprit in Alzheimer’s, but artificial sweeteners as well. Some studies have shown that aspartame, brand names NutraSweet and Equal, leave holes in the brain of laboratory animals.
It also triggers potentially deadly methanol poisoning, which severely damages the brain. Alcoholics who can’t afford commercial liquor will become desperate enough to drink methylated spirits, resulting in methanol poisoning, which leads to brain cell destruction and premature death.
Women are much more prone to Alzheimer’s than men. Could it be their sweet cravings causing the issue? If you’re worried about your brain health, heart health, and weight, cut out sugar and/or opt for a low carb diet and see what a difference it can make to your brain health.