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Alzheimer’s Alert for Monroe County Residents

Stroudsburg, PA – Carbs and Sugars Tied to Alzheimer’s

The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reported that older folks who consume lots of carbohydrates have four times the risk of developing MCI – Mild Cognitive Impairment – a precursor to Alzheimer’s.  The specific diet elements of the study targeted the difference between complex and simple carbohydrates.  Cognitive impairment is defined as problems with thinking and judgment, memory, and language.

The study, conducted over a four year period by Mayo Clinic researchers, sites high consumption of complex carbohydrates, such as pasta, rice, cereal and bread as detrimental to brain health, since the body turns them into sugars.  On the other hand, fruits, vegetables and milk are simple carbohydrates and showed no effect.  Comparisons are being made to plaque development, caused by too much sugar in the blood vessels of the brain, similar to problems seen with type 2 diabetes.

Recommendations for Healthy, Balanced Eating, including a mix of protein, carbohydrate and fat come out of this study, with a caution to Excessive Consumption of Complex Carbohydrates.  Those participants whose diets were highest in fat (nuts, healthy oils) were 42% less likely to get cognitive impairment.  Those who had the highest intake of protein (chicken, meat, fish) had a reduced risk of 21 percent.

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