A healthy diet is about more than keeping yourself fit and free of heart disease, wrinkles and impotence (yes, all are related to food!). It’s about preserving your memory, too.
For instance, eating high amounts of saturated fat—more than four grams in an hour—can raise the levels of bad cholesterol in your blood, which can stick to your arteries, and, even worse, turns on inflammatory genes that result in those wrinkles, poor orgasm quality, and you got it, that gunk in your brain that makes your memory be less than it is now.
The same arterial plaque buildup from this saturated fat—we call it a food felon—that leads to heart disease is a major culprit for vascular dementia—when the brain neurons become inflamed or don’t get enough oxygen and blood flow. Inflammation and lack of oxygen (resulting from that donut or sugary soda) result in accelerated memory loss.
This gives serious meaning to the phrase “eating to forget.”
Poor food choices cause poor cognitive functioning: the eight southern states in America that make up the “Stroke Belt” also have higher incidences of obesity and and greater chance of dementia. Of course, many factors are at play when it comes to developing dementia, but lifestyle factors like a high saturated fat diet (from four-legged animal fat, two legged animal skin, palm and coconut oil), coupled with little physical activity, are certainly big contributors to memory problems as well as wrinkles, orgasm decay and heart attacks.
A recent study of healthy adults and adults with mild cognitive impairment tested out the effects of two diets. One was the “high diet,” which was high in saturated fat (at least 25 percent of the diet) and simple carbohydrates (glycemic index greater than 70). The other was a “low diet,” which was low in saturated fat (less than 7 percent of the diet) with a fewer simple carbs (glycemic index less than 55).
Not surprisingly, the low (low in the food felons) diet improved or made the levels of three important markers of health better for you.
Firstly, this diet was associated with decreased plasma lipids (read: less lousy or bad cholesterol). Secondly, the low diet was linked with lower insulin levels. Current research is looking at an optimal insulin dose to help cognitive functioning in people with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
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