I often ask my patients what health issue scares them the most. I usually expect them to say cancer or perhaps a stroke, yet the clear majority say that the disease they want to avoid the most is Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease begins with brain cell dysfunction progressing to brain cell death with resulting gradual shrinkage of the brain.
The good news is that recently, there has been a ground-breaking discovery about Alzheimer’s disease. In the past, we thought of Alzheimer’s disease as being unavoidable, yet now we realize that we can prevent up to 60% of memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease with interventions that restore optimal blood sugar and insulin control. Research from my clinic shows that the same steps that lower your risk for memory loss will also improve brain function and cognitive processing speed by up to 25%, enhancing your executive brain performance.
Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease rates are increasing at epidemic rates. The number of victims is predicted to increase 200% in just the next 12 years, and increase 400% by year 2050—that’s 24 million Americans with this disease–when the cost of Alzheimer’s care will exceed $1.5 trillion yearly.
What makes Alzheimer’s disease so scary? First, it is fatal 100% of the time—we don’t have a way to effectively treat it once it occurs. Second, it renders people totally disabled for years, with the end result being that they are unable to speak, recognize loved ones, forced to wear diapers, and often confined to bed or a wheelchair. The worst of all is that people become a burden on the people they love most, totally dependent on loved ones and care givers. The impact on our spouse, siblings, and children is why this disease is so terrifying.
If you can’t treat Alzheimer’s disease, then how do you prevent it? We have recently discovered that the most important intervention is to achieve optimal blood sugar and insulin control. Your fasting blood sugar should be less than 95 mg/dL and your fasting insulin level less than 5 mIU/ml.
Maintaining optimal blood sugar levels won’t just improve brain function and help to prevent cognitive decline—it will also help you prevent heart disease, diabetes, and help you to be trim and fit as well.
The good news is, the steps to better blood sugar control are the same steps I have recommended to prevent and reverse heart disease. Here is what you need to do for better blood sugar control:
- Eat more fiber from vegetables, fruits, beans, and nuts. In particular, choose foods with a low Glycemic Load. For specifics, there is a Glycemic Load table in my book, Smart Fat, identifying foods with a low, medium, and high glycemic load.
- Avoid refined carbs with a high Glycemic Load, especially foods that contain of sugar and flour.
- Eat more smart fat and clean protein.
- Stay active, combining both aerobic exercise with strength training—working-out most days of the week.
- Meet your key nutrient needs, especially for long chain omega-3 fats (fish oil), vitamin D, vitamin B 12, and mixed folates.
If you’d like more details on how to improve your brain performance and prevent memory loss, stay tuned, as I’ll be providing much more cutting-edge details in coming blogs. And…..
My next new book will release in January 2018, titled The Better Brain Solution.
Here is my promise:
- An easy to understand connection between blood sugar control, heart disease, and memory loss
- A practical way to assess your cognitive function
- A list of factors that increase your risk for memory loss and tips to stop them in their tracks
- A medically sound program to improve your brain function
- A scientifically proven plan to help prevent memory loss
- Foods that are easy to prepare, that are great for your brain and body, and that your family and friends will love to eat. Plus 50 new recipes that will be fun to prepare.
- Activities that will tune up your brain, rev your metabolism, and help you get trim and sexy in less time
- A program that you can share with your partner, spouse, children, and/or parents; one that is safe for all ages
- A plan that is realistic, even if you have a busy schedule
- Results that you can feel and measure within thirty days
I wish you the best of health!
Steven Masley, MD, FAHA, FACN, FAAFP, CNS