Don’t Forget To Feed Your Mind!

Posted 03/20/2013 | By HealthCorps

Preserving cognitive function is an important part of overall wellness.  Indulging in a diet high in sugar and carbohydrate intake can lead to an 89% risk of developing dementia.  Since carbohydrate cravings are at an all time high, thanks to the never-ending supply of processed carbohydrates like cookies, candy, breads and pasta, dementia risk is a burgeoning threat, especially for young people.  Fast food, sugary drinks and high fat/high sugar snacks are part of the regular diet of many teens and young adults.  It is not a disease on their radar because old age seems so far away.

The Mayo Clinic study found that in general too much food overall may lead to forgetfulness, while excess weight increases the risk of dementia.  When the study looked at specific variables, it found that in the group of subjects who consumed a diet of mostly carbs (2/3s of their daily diet came from carbohydrates), mental decline was 89% higher, than the group whose diet was only 50% carbohydrates.  Subjects who consumed a diet high in proteins had a 34% lowered risk of developing dementia.

The take away message?  Eat with the future in mind.  Choose proteins wisely, emphasizing lean proteins and alternative non-meat proteins like fish, beans, legumes, and nuts.  When selecting carbohydrates, emphasize fruits and vegetables and then choose whole grains and high fiber grains.  Remember that starchy vegetables like corn, peas, potatoes and butternut squash are more dense and satiating and full of fiber and nutrients.

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