Recently, I was talking with a patient about her father. He’s getting older and recently had hip surgery. He’s also started forgetting things. He will drive to the other side of town and get lost on his way home. A short trip can take 2 hours instead of 10 minutes. This is something he had done for 50 years and should be practically automatic. I asked her what his favorite foods are, and she said sweets. Memory loss in those who love sweets is something I have noticed very often and anecdotally confirms what science has been telling us – Alzheimer’s Disease is “Type 3” Diabetes.
Alzheimer’s Disease, like many other illnesses, is on the rise. 5.1 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s Disease and by 2050, The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that number could almost triple to 13.8 million. (1) There are two things to look closely at for these growing numbers and things to avoid to reduce your risk. One is heavy metals. Metals are harmful because the brain is made of fat which absorbs toxins like heavy metals. So be sure to avoid vaccines, toxic personal products, high mercury fish etc. The other is massive shrinkage of the brain. What causes that massive shrinkage? Sugar and that’s why it’s been said that Alzheimer’s Disease is “Type 3” Diabetes.
Sugar is Bad for Everyone
Unfortunately, it’s not been said enough because we still see excessive sugar eating. While people are starting to realize how bad sugar is for the waistline, more need to hear how bad it is for your brain. Diabetes has been a known risk factor for dementia, but you don’t need to be diagnosed with diabetes for high glucose levels to impact your dementia risks. It’s shown to increase your risk even if you don’t meet the threshold for diabetes. (2) One study found that diets high in carbohydrates increased your risk by 89% but a high fat diet will reduce it by 44%. (3) Why is that? Your brain is 96% fats and proteins, and only 4% sugars and carbohydrates.
Many people might say, “but my blood sugar is fine, so I can eat as much sugar as I want.” I’d say they are wrong. VERY WRONG. Blood glucose is a snapshot in time because it fluctuates throughout the day and with every meal. For example, my glucose level was 82 and someone I know also tested 82. We both also compared our hemoglobin A1c scores. An A1c score is the average blood glucose over the course 2-3 months. He tested at a 4.8 and mine was a 5.6 because I had past bad habits, so my body doesn’t manage sugar as well.
Why is this important? The higher score is associated with higher brain shrinkage. (4) His score was below 5.3 which is correlated with an environment that allows for brain growth. Once the score hits 5.3 there is a linear acceleration of brain memory centers shrinking, and that score is directly related to your body’s intake and management of sugar. So, two people with the same blood sugar can have significantly different A1c numbers and different health outcomes!!!
Sugar Leads to Illness and Alzheimer’s is “Type 3” Diabetes
When your body stops processing the sugar properly that’s when your glucose stays high and you develop a high A1c. Not only is that an overall health and wellness issue, but the sugar is literally causing oxidation of the brain tissue. That’s not good. Think about a bike that is left in the rain. What happens to it? It gets rusty. When metal oxidizes it rusts and starts to break down. Your brain does something similar and sugar can cause that. When the brain doesn’t function properly, it starts to break down. So, when you go to recall something that you should know easily, it can be very difficult because your brain isn’t functioning optimally.
Alzheimer’s Disease is the 6th leading cause of death and sadly the numbers are just going up. So, why are we seeing this? Higher sugar consumption. The average family in the 1900’s ate 5 pounds of sugar a year and today the average American person eats around 150 pounds. Only 29% is table sugar with most of the sugar hidden in processed foods. This sugar consumption is shrinking brains and destroying the health of Americans.
Sugar started to be connected to poor health outcomes in the 1950’s. The sugar industry didn’t like that. So, in the 1960’s the Sugar Research Foundation funded a study for Harvard researchers to look into the correlation and they concluded that fats and cholesterol were the cause of coronary disease. This vilified foods we should be eating and informed the creation of the highly flawed food pyramid. This has led to the increasing disease rates we have seen over the past 50+ years including Alzheimer’s Disease, a.k.a. “Type 3” Diabetes.
Feed Your Body for a Healthy Brain
Cutting fats and protein meant the addition of sugar in the diet, which is the opposite of what we should be doing to support the body. The more fats and protein we can get into the diet the better. When we eat those, we are feeding the brain what it is made of and more in line with the composition of body.
How do you poison an environment? Put something in it that doesn’t belong. How do you poison a plant? Feed it motor oil. How do you poison a dog? Feed it chocolate. How do we poison a human? Feed it sugar. When we chronically give the body what it doesn’t need it won’t bounce back easily. That’s when we start having a problem processing sugars which can lead to liver problems, insulin resistance, adrenal issues, and thyroid issues.
Many people fed their families on bad nutritional advice, so they developed bad habits and sugar is addictive, so we keep seeing consumption rates go up. It goes up 20% yearly! Those bad habits take a toll on the body and our collective health. How can we reverse this trend and our bad habits?
Start by cutting out the sugar and processed foods where sugar is always hiding under different names. Your next step is getting properly tested for your sugar levels and how your body is processing that sugar. The next step might be hard for some, but you need to increase your fats. Don’t worry you can’t get fat from fats and your brain needs them. If you are seeing the effects of memory loss, start taking shots of coconut oil or avocado oil daily!
The Standard American Diet Needs to Change
Take steps to stop sugar from shrinking your brain because, as you can see, increased and poorly managed sugar rates are damaging our health and leading to “new disorders” like “type 3” diabetes. We will continue to see the rates of disease rise if we don’t make changes. Alzheimer’s is “type 3” Diabetes is just a part of the damage that sugar causes. If you feed your brain better, it’s going to function better.
Written by Dr. Jason Nobles