Monday, September 30, 2013

Finally! Good News About Alzheimer’s

 by Kate Collins

How great is was to see some positive news about preventing Alzheimer’s disease this week.  First there was a Mayo Clinic study and then research by neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, both saying that we are not doomed to get the disease because someone else in our family has it. We control our genes through diet and exercise, turning them on and off with healthy or unhealthy habits.

My quick summary of the studies is that there are a lot of toxins in grains nowadays that our guts can’t handle, even if we have no symptoms, such as gluten intolerance. And what affects our guts affects our brains. (The gut is called the Little Brain) It’s a long explanation that I’m not going to tackle, but suffice it to say that if you’d like to prevent any of the diseases of dementia, you should read the latest research on it and take steps to modify your diet and include exercise, even in short bursts throughout the day.

The basics of the preventative way of eating are: cutting back on grains as much as possible, cutting way back on sugar, adding more dark leafy greens, upping protein sources of nuts, cage-free eggs, and grass fed beef, and adding healthy fats – avocados, coconut, olives, coconut and olive oils, and macadamia and pecans. A benefit of the healthy fat is that when you substitute it for a carb, you will stay full longer.

I’ve already begun incorporating some changes. My lunch now consists of homemade guacamole (the really fast way: mash avocados and add salsa or salsa verde) olives, a slice of hard cheese, Beanitos (bean chips, gluten free) and hummus. It’s yummy and surprisingly filling. 

Now I’ve just got to squeeze in more time to exercise. That’s my downfall. My husband used to keep me on track with a walk at the end of my writing day. Now that he’s not here to crack the whip, I’m not as faithful as I should be. But after reading these studies, I’m determined to do whatever it takes to avoid any form of dementia.  I never want to be a burden to my kids.

Some people claim they just can’t cut out their breads or give up their sugary drinks. I can give up anything if it means avoiding Alzheimer’s. How about you?