This 'Healthy' Recommendation
Could Be Putting Your Brain at Risk
Their advice is downright dangerous. Health authorities recommend you replace solid fats like butter with vegetable oils like corn, safflower or sunflower to reduce your risk of heart disease. Not only will this dietary switch make you more likely to suffer heart problems but it increases your risk of dementia, too.
The Inflammation Epidemic
The major killer diseases like heart disease, stroke, cancer and Alzheimer's all share a common symptom. It’s the first one to show up –years before you’re diagnosed with one of these killer disease. That symptom is inflammation.
Inflammation is good when it's a response to injury. The redness and swelling play a major role in healing. But low level chronic inflammation is something else; it can be very destructive.
And that's what happens to all of us to some extent, particularly as we get older. Our immune system and other protective systems that should be controlling inflammation stop functioning properly. The inflammation switch is permanently “on” instead of being turned off when a threat has passed.
Instead of making us well, the immune response produces higher levels of inflammatory chemicals on an ongoing basis, with no symptoms and without us being aware of it.
There are many causes for this condition including chronic infections, stress, toxins, pesticides, heavy metals and allergies, but the way we eat is a major influence on our body's level of inflammation. And one of the most inflammatory features of modern diets is omega 6 fatty acids, the kind found in - you guessed it - vegetable oils like the ones some “experts” will tell you are healthy.
Sure, we need omega 6 fats in our diet. They perform important functions. But it's shocking to discover that Americans eat fifty times more than we need for good health. And that's bad news not just for our physical health but for our mental well-being as well.
When healthy adults were given a toxin to promote inflammatory chemicals called cytokines in their bodies, the three major complaints they reported were anxiety, depression and memory problems!
Over time our delicate brain cells get worn down by chronic inflammation. This causes actual structural damage, provoking the manufacture of the plaques and tangles characteristic of Alzheimer's disease.
The Anti-Inflammation Diet
People who use anti-inflammatory drugs for long periods of time dramatically reduce the risk of Alzheimer's -- by as much as 60 - 80%!
Of course these drugs also have the unwelcome side effect of gastrointestinal bleeding which accounts for ten to twenty thousand deaths each year. A much better and safer approach is to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet – foods that reduce inflammation.
The typical Western diet promotes inflammation with its emphasis on omega 6 fats, sugar and refined carbohydrates.
An anti-inflammatory diet focuses on eating vegetables, legumes, oily fish, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, culinary herbs and spices, and nuts. This diet is also nutritious, packed with antioxidants and phytochemicals, and helps to maintain steady blood sugar levels.
Surprisingly, saturated fats from plant sources such as nuts, coconut and avocado are extremely healthy. Only saturated fats from animal sources pose a problem.
If you want to dramatically reduce your risk of major diseases and improve the symptoms of any arthritic or inflammatory condition you already suffer, add these anti-inflammatory superstars to your diet to get you started:
Fish: All species of fish and shellfish have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring are even better.
Vegetables: onions, kale, spinach, turnip greens, sweet potato, chili peppers
Spices: ginger, turmeric, garlic, cayenne pepper
Nuts (raw and unroasted): walnuts, brazil nuts, macadamia nuts
Tropical Oils: Coconut, avocado