If you don’t want to lose your mind as you get older, you may want to pay close attention to your carbohydrate consumption. A study from Mayo Clinic researchers found that elderly subjects who consumed the most carb foods and sugars were the most likely to become cognitively-impaired. For the study, researchers followed the diets of 940 cognitively normal elderly subjects over a four year period. After the four year period, study subjects who reported the highest intakes of carbohydrates were almost four times more likely to develop mild cognitive dysfunction – a decrease in memory, thinking, and judgment. In contrast, study subjects consuming the most fats were 42 percent less likely to show a decline in intellectual function while those consuming the most protein had a 21 percent lower risk. The investigators speculate that too many carbs, especially from sugar and the Great White Hazards (white flour products, white potatoes, and white rice) lead to the development of poor insulin function thru their propensity to drive up glucose high and fast. Poor insulin function can wreak havoc on the brain on many fronts.
1: Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, October 2012