In the first of what is still planned to be a series of three posts (*kicks self up ass*) I spoke about why I think sugar is evil. Specifically, about why surges in insulin are so bad, and the damage that they do to your body.
I read something in the New Scientist recently that took that sentiment to another level, and that I felt deserved its own post here, away from my usual news and blog round-up, because it was so staggering that I didn’t want it to get lost. It was about the fact that a large body of evidence points to the fact that Alzheimer’s is a metabolic disease, caused by a diet high in sugars and the resulting surges in insulin. Indeed some scientists have already called it “Type 3 diabetes”. There is another well-researched piece in the Guardian, in which author George Monbiot has reviewed a lot of the evidence and wrote a very comprehensive article, even giving references – very refreshing.
It is still an area which needs to be researched very thoroughly before firm conclusions are drawn, but obviously the impact is massive if it proves to be the case. Drawing a link between diet and dementia will have a profound impact on not only prevention and treatment, but also will affect perception of sufferers and have a knock-on effect for other related illnesses too.
It makes me wonder what other conditions that were previously assumed to be dealt by the hand of fate, bad luck or faulty genes could potentially be linked to the same thing. I’ve started listening to the awesome Fat Burning Manpodcast by Abel James, which mentioned that studies have already linked breast cancer to blood glucose levels, and actually googling shows that blood glucose levels are linked to all kinds of cancers. And it’s already known that diets low in processed carbs – specifically the Paleo-style diets – have reduced inflammatory conditions. I often wonder whether things like depression could also be affected by a change in diet.
Whilst the evidence will continue to amass at quite a rate, I think it will be a long time before any solid advice is issued by health institutions, governments and other advisory bodies. So entrenched are we in a diet based on carbohydrates, high in processed grains and sugary snacks, that making a switch to one that favours protein and fat instead will take a lot of time and a significant change of mindset, both at individual and institutional levels, as well, of course, by food manufacturers. If you’re looking for a take-away bit of advice, then you could do a lot worse than buying this book and settling down for a read.