Eating a low carb diet or ketogenic diet has been proven to you help lose fat, control diabetes, and many other health issues and anti aging. Did you know that keeping a low carb diet lifestyle may prevent age related damage to the brain, such as dementia and Alzheimers?
Research has shown that as early as our 40s our brain pathways can begin to deteriorate. Researchers examined brain scans that show that changes in our brains’ associated with aging, has been found to happen much earlier than previously thought. The good news is research also shows that changing our eating habits and consuming less simple sugars and carbohydrates can help to reverse this process. Let’s check out the correlation between low carb diet and dementia.
Low Carb Diets & Brain Health
The newest study conducted by Stony Brook University states that by eating a low-carb diet prevented the early signs of aging in the brain. Eating a low-carb diet, also referred to as ketogenic diet, releases ketones into the bloodstream causing the body to use stored fat for energy rather than glucose from carbohydrates.
The process known as ketosis starts as the body breaks down ketone molecules and therefore runs on energy from stored fat. A low-carb lifestyle can be done by eating a wide variety of proteins and fats and typically includes foods such as butter, cheese, eggs, grass-fed meats and avocados to name a few. You can check out my article on ketogenic diets linked above for recipes and more.
The key is to almost entirely avoid common carbs such as bread, flour, sugar, rice, and potatoes. Researchers found that communication in the regions of the brain started to decline in their late 40s and around age 46-47 people had weakened cognition. They also identified that people with Type 2 diabetes had even weaker cognition, so they studied how dietary changes may reverse the aging in the brain.
One group was placed on a regular diet, and the second group was given a low-carb eating plan. The study found that the individuals who were metabolizing ketones on the ketogenic diet plan, showed increased and stabilized brain activity. They stated that there’s good news and bad news.
The bad news is that they saw brain aging much earlier than previously thought, the good news is that through a low carb diet the changes in the brain may be reversed and even preventable. Always speak to your doctor before starting any new diet or exercise program.
How To Eat Low-Carb
Eating a low-carb diet / lifestyle helps a multitude of issues. From skin conditions, to brain health and weight loss, folks who live a low-carb lifestyle live healthier lives. Eating low-carb doesn’t have to be boring and you don’t have to load up on just meats for protein. If you cannot tolerate dairy or gluten, its very easy to incorporate foods into your plan such as nut milk instead of dairy milk and seeds and nuts for protein. I’ve compiled a list of foods that are low-carb as well as a list of foods to avoid.
Foods To Eat –
- Nuts & Seeds ( including nut milk and butter )
- Leafy Green Vegetables
- Lean Meats ( Chicken, Pork, Sirloin )
- Certain Fruits ( Blueberries, Apples, Strawberries )
- Oils ( Olive & Coconut )
- Unsweetened Dairy Products ( Plain Greek Yogurt, Plain Whole Milk )
Foods To Avoid –
- White Sugar
- Brown Sugar
- Low-Fat Dairy Products ( Low fat foods often have added sugar and carbs )
- White Rice
- Pre-Packaged / Processed Foods
If you need to use sweetener in some foods or recipes, there are sweeteners that are low-carb / keto friendly such as Stevia, which is a natural plant based sweetener. Other healthy alternatives include monk fruit sweetener and yakon syrup. I would try to avoid unnatural sweeteners such as sucralose and xylitol sometimes named sweet n low.
Health Benefits Of A Low-Carb Lifestyle
Now that we know some of the benefits a low-carb diet has for our brain health, I wanted to go over some of the other health benefits of living a low-carb lifestyle. Weight loss is the main reason that people choose a low-carb lifestyle but there are many other benefits:
- Weight Loss
- Appetite Reduction
- Reduction in cholesterol / triglycerides
- Increase in good cholesterol
- Fat loss in the abdominal area
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower blood sugar / Reduction of diabetes
- Cardiovascular / heart health improved
- Brain Health improved
There are many health benefits to a low-carb lifestyle. Another study showed that people who have epilepsy and change their diets also benefit due to the brains’ ability to use ketones as fuel. This way of eating has been used for years to help combat the symptoms of epilepsy and in one study, 50% of the participants have seen a reduction in epileptic symptoms just by changing their diets. Another added benefit is glowing skin and reduction in fine lines and wrinkles as well as discoloration. For low-carb meal ideas, check out this site I have linked here. If you have any questions or comments I would love to hear them.
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