We all know the things we can live without and still function properly, I am not going to name them here but I am sure they are loads! Though those things exists and we can certainly cut them from our lives and still function well, one thing is certain : we cannot have our memory cut from us and still function properly. Memory is what gave us our independence, as little children we had to be assisted in pretty much everything but as the years progressed, we started slowly but surely gaining control until we were fully able to live our lives independently and that thanks to memory. But the other side of the coin is , as we grow older and start swimming into old age, our memory starts declining, to some people it begins earlier even. Thus, how can we live an healthy and active life if we start losing our memory? The answer is pretty obvious : we can’t. Memory loss can lead to serious mental health decline as well we must admit, it is a very frustrating experience and anything sound and safe to help us prevent it should always be welcome. Many researches have been conducted to demonstrate how enough rest(sleep), increase in vitamin E and spring or pure water intakes, mental and physical exercises can significantly reduce and even reverse the shrinkage of the hippocampus which is located in the centre of the brain and the seat of memory and thus help us reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment. In this article, we are going to cover how saturated and trans fats affect our mental ability to remember and make us more prone to these diseases.
Saturated fats , trans fats intake and Alzheimer’s disease
In 2003 Chicago researchers conducted a project called ‘the Chicago Health and Aging project’, they looked at what people in Chicago were eating, and did careful dietary records of hundreds and hundreds of people;then monitored to see who, as the years passed by, stayed mentally clear and who did not, developing dementia. And here is what they found :
People who had 25 grams and above of saturated fats per day developed Alzheimer’s disease and those who had less than that did not. They went further , not only looked at the saturated fat but also at the trans fat which is the type of fat found in doughnuts and pastries (you’ll find this on the labels), they found the very same pattern too.
So the people who tended to avoid the saturated fat and trans fats wanted to avoid them for cholesterol and heart disease reasons; but they also seem to affect the brain.Saturated fat is found in animal fat(milk, meat, eggs, butter, cheese, pork fat, beef and lamb fats) and also in tropical oils(coconut and palm oil). Trans fat is found in margarine, bakery products, snack chips, imitation cheese and other processed foods. Conventional wisdom says that saturated fats is bad but many researches have shown otherwise( we will cover this in later posts) thus saturated fats should be consumed in moderation; the ones to completely avoid are trans fats; these fats are highly toxic to the body and the brain.
Saturate fats, trans fats intake and Mild Cognitive Impairment
Some researchers in Finland joined in to check whether the causes of a condition called ‘mild cognitive impairment’,you are still ‘yourself’, still managing your books and life but you are having memory lapses, especially for names and words, could also be traced back to the same reasons. They took in 1341 adults , average age : 50. Followed over a period of 21 years. they looked at their diets. As time went by, they observed who developed mild cognitive impairment. Some of them had relatively low fat input per day (<21.6 grams), others had high amount(>21.6 grams) and they looked at whose memory began to fail. They found exactly the same pattern. They did not just look at the saturated fats but also at the fats found in doughnuts and pastries, trans fats (you’ll find this on the labels), they found the very same pattern too. So the people who tended to avoid the saturated fat and trans fats wanted to avoid them for cholesterol and heart disease reasons; but they also seem to affect the brain.
What about people with the Alzheimer’s gene?
Well what about people with the gene APOEε4 (APOE[Epsilon]4)gene?, the one that condemns you to Alzheimer’s disease?Well, then they redid the study and focused only on those people; some of them ate relatively low fat(<21.6 grams per day), some age more(>21.6 grams); the results cake out same! In other words: if you are avoiding the bad fats, even if you have the gene ; your risk of developing memory problems is cut by 80% which means genes are not destiny!
I am sure there are plenty of other ways to prevent or almost cure the loss of memory; why not join the conversation and tell us what you have tried or if you have questions please leave them in the comment section below and We’ll be more than glad to get back to you.