When we mentioned in an early article that food labels can be deceiving, we were not kidding! But now let’s delve deeper and see if we can break the hidden code when it comes to whole grains and food labels for the Alzheimer’s diet. Is there really a way to discover just how many grams of whole grains a product has without taking it to the food lab for analysis?
With the Easter holiday coming up, many people will be faced with a lot of temptation when it comes to unhealthy candy and other sugar laden foods which are NOT recommended as part of the Alzheimer’s diet. Easter baskets are commonly jam packed with chocolate bunnies and refined sugar candy eggs. Not to mention the pasta, sugary desserts, potatoes and gravy, and other saturated fatty foods often served as part of a traditional Easter dinner. Is there a way to stick to eating brain healthy snacks and foods when surrounded by so many unhealthy food choices during the Easter holiday season?
Sherry C. on
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
Image Source:Natural News
Artificial Sweeteners have received a lot of controversy. Some groups argue that they are dangerous while the government contends there is nothing to worry about. Artificial sweeteners have been connected to everything from cancer to cognitive brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. So what is the truth? Do artificial sweeteners cause Alzheimer’s or are they safe for the Alzheimer’s diet as the FDA contends? Some of the answers might surprise you.
In order to maintain optimum brain health for Alzheimer’s prevention, it is imperative to keep a balanced diet. A carefully balanced diet has been shown to not only improve your overall well-being it is a key component to keeping Alzheimer’s at bay. One important factor in achieving this is learning how to properly read the labels on the foods you buy. After all, your future mental health is at stake. But what should you be looking for in food labels, and what are some common misperceptions about identifying just what you are eating by reading labels?
You may have heard about ketogenic diets being used to treat Alzheimer’s disease. In the past ketogenic diets were often used in the treatment of epilepsy, but exactly what is a ketogenic diet and what new findings have been revealed by medical research about this diet in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease ?
What is a Ketogenic Diet?
Ketones are organic compounds that are created when the body breaks down fat for energy, which occurs in the liver. These compounds are sometimes utilized by the heart and brain for energy when there is a lack of glucose. The ketogenic diet is an extremely high fat diet (80%-90% of calories come from fat) that eliminates almost all carbohydrates. This diet fuels the body with ketones to maintain normal function. This is an abnormal state for the body, since a diet high in fat is usually considered unhealthy, the healthy fats are used sparingly. When the ketogenic diet is implemented to combat cognitive disorders, studies are starting to show some positive results.
How Does the Diet Work?
Image Source: Lowcarbdietnews.com
How this diet works to protect the brain remains a mystery, but researchers have some theories. One reason could be the increased level of ketones, which provide an excellent energy source for the brain (since it is made up of over 50 percent fat). The protective layer that covers the brain is made up of 70 percent fatty tissue, in fact; fat is so imperative to the brain that scientists believe it had a major impact on what they call “the big brain change.” This was thought to have occurred when humans who lived near the sea ingested large quantities of fish and seafood-rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
Ketone imbalances are most often found in people who suffer from diabetes. Those with diabetes must pay close attention to the amount of sugar in the diet and observe closely for signs of peripheral vascular problems such as foot problems in diabetics. The ketones become prevalent when insulin isn’t present in acceptable levels in the body. Since glucose is normally used in the body for energy and is transported throughout the body via insulin, a lack of insulin causes the body to break down body fat, thus increasing high ketone levels. While this is normally a non-desirable condition, researchers are finding that an increased ketone level could actually be beneficial in certain cognitive disorders.
Researchers took the idea behind the ketogenic diet and tested it on mice to see what the effects would be. Female mice were fed one of two diets; high carbohydrates and low fat or high fat and low carbohydrates. The mice were fed this diet for a total of 43 days and the results were counter-intuitive to what researchers thought. Scientists postulated that a high fat diet would lead to an increase in plaques in the brain, but during this study they found the opposite to be true. The mice that ate the high fat but low carb diet actually had a 25% reduction in brain plaques.
There are plenty of tasty recipes for the ketogenic diet , although the Alzheimer’s Diet does not recommend a strict ketogenic diet, some of the healthy recipes can be used as a substitute for high glycemic load foods, such as muffins, as part of a healthy Alzheimer’s prevention diet.
Ketogenic Chocolate Chip Muffins
Image Source: Recipegirl.com
Ingredients: 1 tbsp cream 1/2 fresh banana – mashed 2 tsp coconut flour 1/8 cup light banana flavored yogurt 1 egg 1 tbsp healthy oil for the Alzheimer’s diet 1/4 cup crushed walnuts 2 tsps veganaise health butter-melted 1 tsp semi-sweet chocolate mini chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix melted butter, cream, yogurt, eggs, oil, and mashed bananas. Add stevia sweetener to taste. In small bowl, toss chocolate chips with coconut flour. Stir in nuts. Add a pinch of salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Mix until blended. Pour into muffin tins. Bake 25 minutes until golden brown on top and toothpick inserted in center is clean. In small bowl, toss chocolate chips with coconut flour (to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin). Stir in finely ground macadamia nuts. Next, add one pinch each of salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Mix until just blended and pour batter into muffin tins. Bake 25 minutes until golden brown on top.
While the research on the ketogenic diet is not conclusive, these studies are leading researchers in a positive direction toward understanding just how influential nutrition is on the brain. The Atkins diet offers a very similar concept because it reduces the carbohydrate intake and focuses on fat and protein. There are some huge shortcomings with the Atkins diet in that it restricts even healthy carbohydrates -low on the glycemic index, such as fresh fruit. Note that you should never restrict carbohydrates all together without first consulting your physician. Fruit with bright colored skin is highly recommended on the Alzheimer’s diet, according to Dr. Richard Isaacson, Harvard trained Neurologist in his groundbreaking diet book written in partnership with Christopher N. Ochner, Ph.D. To learn more about the proper balance of healthy fats and low glycemic load carbohydrates for the Alzheimer’s diet, order Dr. Isaacson’s diet book, “The Alzheimer’s Diet” today.
There are many sources of sugar in our diet that are obvious such as in carbonated soda drinks, candy bars, sugar coated cereal, and more. But did you know that there are many hidden sources of sugar in our food that many people never account for, such as the sugar content in bread, pasta, pizza dough, crackers, white rice, and many more hidden sources? In fact, the average American, who is NOT on the Alzheimer’s diet, eats around 20 to 31 teaspoons of extra sugar every day. That adds up to approximately 500 extra calories daily just in sugar intake! What does this have to do with Alzheimer’s prevention? According to the recent research-everything!
Before you sink your teeth into that calorie and cholesterol laden dinner, you might want to think twice about eating fatty or fried foods high in saturated fat, particularly if you are concerned about Alzheimer’s nutrition. Just what is the link between high cholesterol levels and Alzheimer’s disease, and how can the Alzheimer’s diet help?
Sherry C. on
Friday, February 22nd, 2013
Most of us have heard of the Glycemic Index (GI) which has been used as a guide to how quickly a carbohydrate will be absorbed in the blood stream to be utilized for energy, and how the blood sugar will subsequently rise. But how does the Glycemic Load (GL) differ from the GI and what is its significance in Alzheimer’s prevention?
Sherry C. on
Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
We have all heard that there is a connection between diabetes and Alzheimer’s prevention, but did you know that nearly one third of Americans today have diabetes or pre-diabetes? Much of the recent research is indicated a close link between diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, in fact, some people are calling Alzheimer’s a type of “diabetes of the brain.” Sure there is a definite link between consuming a poor diet high in refined sugar, but does diabetes really cause Alzheimer’s disease?
Sherry C. on
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013
Alzheimer’s disease is considered a degenerative disease of the brain, just like the aging process itself; that means that the brain will progressively deteriorate over a period of time in a person who has the disease – that’s the bad news. The good news is that recent research is finding scientific proof that the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can be slowed down or perhaps even prevented all together with an anti- inflammatory diet. But what is an anti-inflammatory diet and which foods are recommended to promote it?