Obesity Causes Dementia!?

Whoa, and Happy Tuesday! It is Obesity Awareness Month, so be sure and check out all of the other posts on this topic in the archives, or just search the word obesity.

Dementia touches my life in so many ways. I work on a Memory Care Unit with Dementia residents, and I have a loved one suffering from this horrible disease. I am not going to go into all the details of Dementia, now, but it will be discussed in more details on Memory Care Mondays. It is an unkind disease that robs your brain of memories and basic life skills.

I know there is a body positivity movement, and I love that. It is great to love yourself and know that you are beautiful no matter your size. I saw one of these influencers on Youtube state that losing weight is torture and self abuse. While I agree it is not a lot of fun to put yourself into the throws of an exercise regime, eating less food, and lifestyle changes. But, I also think you have to be Mindful of what studies say Obesity really can, and does do to the human body.

You will find a few videos below. They are short, and some talk about the Mediterranean Diet as a lifestyle to help with Obesity and prevent Dementia.

But, what about the statement does Obesity cause Dementia. I like facts, with real data, and controlled studies. They make me happy. Now, if you don’t understand all of the jargon in the study, just read the conclusion.

There are a few things I would like to point out about Obesity and Dementia. Obesity is complicated, and so is Dementia. But, the study I am sharing does show a correlation between Obesity in midlife and a definite increase in Obesity. Now, why I find that really interesting is, if you look at the way they did the study mild cognitive injury appears to show up about 12 years before diagnosis, and the average age of diagnosis was about 75. That means mild cognitive changes probably started around age 63 or sooner. But, Obesity at ages 60 and 70 seemed to be protective. Why? If someone is already starting to have mild cognitive changes, say as early in the 50s when they are Obese, when they start to decrease their food intake, as the disease progresses, the extra weight proves to be protective. Did that make sense? It makes sense to me. Being underweight at ages 60 and 70 proved to increase mortality. They tend to forget to cook, not eat, or just don’t want too. In another words, it is mixed. You need to not be Obese in midlife and below to help prevent Dementia in the first place, but if you are obese in your 60s and 70s it is protective because you are going to need a little extra weight when you don’t want to eat anymore. If you are young and you think carrying all this extra weight does not seem to be harming me, you might want to rethink that.

The reasons for this is most likely because of the inflammatory processes caused by Obesity, and vascular changes caused by Obesity. If you don’t want Dementia, and trust me you probably don’t, giving yourself a little self love now, by losing weight, and maintaining it can help prevent Dementia. Following the Mediterranean Diet is a great start. This style of eating has been shown to be protective against Dementia, and other chronic illnesses too.

If you would like to start walking to increase your daily activity, check out my Walking Buddy Plan.

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Holy Fructosenomics!

OK, so I totally made that word up. But, I had already done a post last year titled What the Fructose! So, I had to come up with something. For the purposes of this post, because the topic is very complex, and there is a lot to it, I am going to make some key points I want you to know. There will be some other articles below, for you to read. If you are not used to reading medical research they might be kind of kwonky. I do a lot of research when I do these kinds of posts, and believe it or not there is not a lot of actual recent research on High Fructose Corn Syrup, you can probably guess why, ahem lobbyists. Now, with that said there is no evidence that High Fructose Corn Syrup actually causes obesity, but there is definitely a correlation. But, I found some other facts more interesting rather than if it makes you fat. I am not talking about Fructose found in fruit. I am talking about HFCS as an additive to almost everything you might eat that is processed.

  1. There is no good research that states HFCS makes you obese. However, there is very good evidence that it causes fatty liver disease, increases all types of bad fats in the body, can possibly cause CKD whoa what, causes High Blood Pressure, and wait for it causes Metabolic Dysregulation ie. Metabolic Syndrome, the one thing I told you you don’t want to have if you are overweight, or obese. So, maybe doctors have gotten this backwards all these years. It might not be Obesity that can cause Metabolic Syndrome, but rather Metabolic Syndrome causes Obesity. Woop there it is! Be sure and read the thousands of articles I will provide below.
  2. High Fructose Corn Syrup does not get broken down in the body like regular sugar. Our bodies, apparently, do not contain digestive enzymes that break HFCS down into a usable form of energy, and is rather sent to the liver to be stored as fat, and the liver tries to break it down. This makes perfect sense to me when you look at the issue of visceral, or abdominal fat being the main culprit of health and disease risk factors. If you are consuming too much HFCS then the liver can store, it will be stored as extra fat in the abdominal area, and around your organs. Insulin has no effects on HFCS.
  3. HFCS is much sweeter, and cheaper than regular table sugar. While it is true table sugar is half glucose and half fructose, the body has enzymes to break that down.
  4. HFCS is added to almost all processed foods. There are some that it isn’t but you have to read labels, and they are sneaky too. Be sure and read my other two posts on this topic.
  5. Some of my favorite products, yep calling them out, contain HFCS: Welch’s grape jelly, Heinz Catsup, Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce, salad dressings, Jif Peanut Butter, sat it isn’t so! My family hates the ones with no HFCS because they are addicted to the sweetness, so I have to buy two types, and hope they will at least try to get used to the non HFCS brands. They are more expensive too.
  6. Big companies making a gazillion dollars using cheap sweetener that almost certainly is causing us humans damage.
  7. Limiting added sugars, and especially HFCS to only 25 grams per day, or less, will help you get rid of stubborn belly fat, not sit ups, not low carb, or whatever whacky diet is out there. You will also see your cholesterol and triglycerides go down. All of these will be future topics.

Trust me, I know how hard it is to read labels, plan meals that are healthy, avoid processed foods including eating out. I have a family. They love these types of foods, and I enjoy them too, in moderation, but it is a struggle that needs to be overcome for the health and wellbeing of my whole family.

The best thing you can do for your health, and the health of your family is to stop eating foods with HFCS, imo.

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https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31058204/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5747444/

https://www.reliasmedia.com/articles/64561-artificial-sweeteners-and-high-fructose-corn-syrup-effects-on-diabetes-and-weight

https://www.fda.gov/food/food-additives-petitions/high-fructose-corn-syrup-questions-and-answers

https://interestingengineering.com/high-fructose-corn-syrup-and-the-obesity-epidemic

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/why-high-fructose-corn-syrup-is-bad?

https://www.healio.com/news/nephrology/20200512/soda-sweetened-with-highfructose-corn-syrup-may-reduce-renal-blood-flow-increase-ckd-risk

https://www.mashed.com/225668/the-untold-truth-of-high-fructose-corn-syrup/

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Sugar and Obesity!

Hello, and welcome to another Healthy Tips on Tuesday post. October is Obesity Awareness Month, or improve your Metabolic Syndrome Health Marker if you prefer. You will find two videos below. I urge you to watch them both. Remember not only fat people have Metabolic Syndrome, and not all Obese people do either. But, if you are on a weight loss journey you simply can not ignore sugars.

Why can you not ignore sugars if you are on a weight loss journey, especially added sugars? I will give you some examples below, and what to try to limit your sugars to, to lose weight. Please note if you are a Diabetic this could be dangerous for you. Please talk to your doctor about Carb control, rather than sugar consumption.

Here is an example. When I look at a box of pasta, which is high in carbs, it only has 2 grams of total sugar per serving, zero of which are added sugars. The same thing with a baked potato, not sweet potato though. A baked potato has only 2 grams of total sugar, per potato, and of course none are added sugars. I used those two examples because pasta, and potatoes, are the arch nemesis of many weight loss diets. Pasta, enriched pasta especially, is a good source of nutrients, as are baked potatoes.

Now, the evidence is mixed on whether added sugars cause Obesity or not, or at least that is what the sugar industry say. I think the evidence is stark. Since the 1980’s when Obesity really started to take off, is when Americans started to eat more processed, readily available, easy to make meals. Watch the videos the stats are right there.

Quitting sugar is hard. It might even be addicting, read my post on this topic. My research shows that discretionary sugar may be the very reason you can’t lose weight. Wait, what? Discretionary sugar, what is that? After you have consumed all of the nutrients your body needs for a day you might have discretionary sugar left to eat in your day. WTH! That sounds horrible to have to try and track, understand, or even care about. Here is an easier method. For women you can eat up to 50 grams sugar, total, in a day, only 25 grams of that 50 should be added sugars. For men just double it. One thing to be careful of, though, is like for me I drink a Welch’s juice that does have sugars, but they are not added sugars. This does not mean I can drink as much as I want. I add only a small amount to my regular water to add flavor. Most processed foods, even organic processed foods, will most likely have added sugars in them. For me, right now, I am not focusing on the total sugars, but rather the added sugars. I am tracking that, ok only 1 day so far, to see if I notice any difference in weight loss, and more importantly waist circumference, as that is actually my goal. It is going to be tough to stick to 25 grams today, because it is family cookoff challenge night and I have to eat two sandwiches. But, I think the bread I bought will be OK. Yesterday, my tracking app said I ate 59 grams of total sugars, but I didn’t keep track of added sugars. But, I still lost some ounces when I weighed myself this morning.

I will be looking more into this sugar topic in upcoming posts, especially in relation to Diabetes, Cancer, Heart Disease, and Alzheimer’s Disease.

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Why Should You Care About Obesity?

Hello, and welcome back to another Healthy Tips on Tuesday post. If you have been reading along then you know that for the month of October I am discussing Obesity. This is the third post on that topic, so please be sure to read the other two, as I don’t intend to repeat myself for each new post. You can just type obesity in the search bar and all posts on this topic will come up. I have done others, previously, before deciding to focus on it for a whole month. If you are triggered by this content, please stop reading now.

So, why should you even care about Obesity? About 70% of Americans are overweight or obese. That is a pretty striking statistic. Obesity is a risk factor for many chronic diseases, but the big 3 are Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Cancer. Of course Obesity causes lots of inflammation, chronic pain, decreased mobility, body image issues, and other non disease type illnesses. Obesity also causes a strain on the health industry costing billions of dollars a year. Loving your body is awesome, but trust me there will come an age in your life, where being Obese is most likely going to be more of a burden than you want, or intended.

There are two types of body fat, subcutaneous fat, and visceral fat. Visceral fat is by far the worst fat, and even thin people can have it. That is one of the reasons the BMI is not a perfect tool, but it is a tool none the less. I watched a ton of videos to find the ones that I think explain the difference between subcutaneous fat, and visceral fat, plus how to possibly tell if you have visceral fat. If your body is shaped like an apple, chances are good you have both types of fat. If you are thin, but have a little pooch belly chances are good you have visceral fat. You may not even be considered obese, and still have lots of visceral fat.

Watch the short videos below to learn more about why you should care about Obesity, visceral fat, and subcutaneous fat. Please note I am not promoting the Paleo, Keto, or Carnivore Diets. They are ways to lose weight, but I think there are other options. If you choose to use them please be under the supervision of a doctor, especially if you have CKD.

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