“You must be nuts!” Obesity, Alzheimer’s and more explained!

“You must be nuts!”

Do you want to reduce weight, your chances of type-2 diabetes and risk of Alzheimer’s?

If the answer is yes, then ditch the carbs! Most people still seem unaware that what is driving the obesity epidemic is sugar. We all know sugar is a cause for type-2 diabetes and a few of us may be aware that Alzheimer’s is also known as type-3 diabetes.

A recent study published in 2017 in the Journal of Medical Internet Research is just one more study indicating that a low-carbohydrate, high fat diet was more effective for weight loss and successful self-management of type-2 diabetes than a conventional, low-fat diabetes diet.
What made us think that fat was the culprit for obesity and cardiovascular disease (CVD)? It was a very flawed piece of ‘research’ during which a biochemist found a correlation between fat consumption and CVD in seven countries. The flaw was that he completely ignored the other 22 countries, which showed very contradictory results!

The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease has rocketed from about 2% in those aged over 85 some forty years ago to over 50% today amongst those aged 85 and over. Alzheimer’s is now being detected in ever younger age groups. Whilst we desperately look for a magic pill, little is being done to really look at lifestyle and diet both of which can play a major role in reducing the likelihood of developing the disease.

Is there a link between Alzheimer’s, cholesterol lowering drugs and low-fat diets? There is plenty of research to show that cholesterol levels do not correlate to CVD – it’s far more complicated than that! Put simply, CVD is most often an inflammatory condition driven by poor diet. A pill is not going to rectify that. And the side-effects of that pill will require another pill…or two or three.
For the brain to function properly, it needs cholesterol. Drastically lowering cholesterol levels may not be a good idea after all! It has been shown that those with Alzheimer’s are unable to use insulin properly and can’t efficiently get glucose into the brain where it can be used as ‘fuel’, hence the name type-3 diabetes. It has also been shown that the levels of essential fatty acids (EFA), DHA in particular, are lower in the brains of those not only with AD but also those with other forms of cognitive impairment compared to controls. This could be a reason why EFA and short-chain fatty acids as found in coconut oil have been found to be beneficial in reducing and even reversing cognitive decline.

So should we just ignore the low-fat dietary guidelines and give up all carbohydrates for the sake of our waist-line and brain function? The simple answer is yes …and no. By all means have butter and full-fat milk in moderation, and coconut oil, olive oil and all the other healthy fats that help you lose fat. But let’s not go back to the days when lard was thought to be good on bread! And be aware that if you have an APOE4 or FTOAA gene, your body will respond differently to fat intake.

If you are interested in more information you might like to go to this YouTube video that explains it all brilliantly: ‘You must be nuts!’ made by Obhi Chatterjee and colleagues.  Using muppets and live interviews with experts in the field of nutrition and health.  https://youtu.be/0QrrBX-6gp0