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Category: Grain Brain

Lifestyle Changes for Diabetes Prevention

Diabetes and Dementia Risk

Over the past several years I have been calling attention to the profound relationship that exists between elevation of blood sugar and risk for developing dementia. This evolving body of knowledge stems from the incontrovertible evidence linking risk for dementia with having diabetes.

More compelling is the evidence that demonstrates that this relationship becomes even more dramatic based on the length of time a person has suffered from diabetes. To be sure, I’m talking about type 2 diabetes which now affects about 28.6 million Americans. This is the type of diabetes that, in most people, is directly reflective of dietary and other lifestyle choices like exercise, stress reduction and getting enough sleep.

In this report from the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Rosebud Roberts, of the Mayo Clinic, whose work I have cited before, demonstrated a profoundly increased risk for developing dementia in elderly individuals who became diabetic before the age of 65, as well as in those who had been diabetic for 10 years or longer.

Here’s the take home message: you can absolutely and dramatically reduce your risk for becoming a diabetic today by changing your diet to one that includes much fewer carbs and sugars and reintroduces healthful fats back to the table. In addition, regular aerobic exercise will help to reduce diabetes risk, and, as such, go a long way to helping you avert dementia.

For more information, order your copy of Grain Brain today and join Dr. Perlmutter’s email list.

  • July41976

    Dr Perlmutter:

    My husband has been a diabetic since age 40. His father became diabetic at 67. His mother has Alzheimer’s which became evident about 5years ago. She is 80 today and also has trouble with her blood sugar. I am wondering is my husbands risk of developing Alzheimer’s higher or can you just say that it is almost a certainty? He exercises but is going to continue his eating habits and just increase his insulin. He is 57. Should I just get ready to care for him?

    Regards,
    Karen Walsh

    • Albert

      Sadly, you should “just get ready to care for him.” With all due respects, why on earth would your husband be inclined “to continue his eating habits and just increase his insulin”? You’d better give him a copy of Dr. Perlmutter’s book to read, although, based on what you say, it doesn’t sound too likely that he would read it. After I myself read “Grain Brain,” and applied the doc’s recommended eating regimen, my blood sugar dropped from 125 to 85 in less than three months. No longer am I am diabetic, and, along with regular exercise, I have decreased my chances of getting Alzheimer’s (or dementia), for which there is NO CURE

      • AJ

        Same situation here, Albert. I first read “Wheat Belly” and have had the same results along with weight loss. Read “Grain Brain” which was a recommendation from the Wheat Belly author. The husband needs to cut ALL grains and sugar from his food intake.

        • Brenda FreeSpirit

          Although it is difficult to dramatically change our lifestyle by eliminating grains, it is possible. I would recommend making the change slowly. I read Wheat Belly six months ago. I stopped eating wheat, corn, and soy then. Then I learned about LCHF (low carb high fat), and it was easy to stop all grains. It is absolutely true that wheat is addictive, as explained in the Wheat Belly book. I stopped craving wheat within days of eliminating it. In reading Grain Brain and following the LCHF lifestyle, I easily stopped other grains because of their high carbohydrate content.
          Now to reduce stress and get adequate sleep and I’ll be all set! 🙂

          • David Perlmutter

            Fantastic story Brenda. Wishing you the best of health.

      • David Perlmutter

        So glad to hear of these improvements in your health Albert. All the best.

    • David Perlmutter

      Karen: It’s certainly not a forgone conclusion, but that’s a question best left to your husband’s neurologist. You can certainly bring some of the research I’ve made available here to your husband’s doctors for discussion, but I can’t speak to his condition in specific.

      • Laila

        Is oat bran included in the list of grains to avoid? I eat 1/2 cup a day to reduce my cholesterol and it works very well. Is it necessary to eliminate oat bran from my diet? My blood sugar levels are slowly increasing every year even though I rarely eat bread, pasta, potatoes and rice.

  • Tina

    Dr. Perlmutter: what recommendations do you have for vegetarians who would like to follow your advice.

  • StephanO

    Typo: 28.6 million, not 286 million 🙂

    • David Perlmutter

      Good catch, thanks StephanO.

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  • CindyJ

    I just read the study published by David Le Couteur in Australia.His conclusion was that low fat high carb diets(healthy carbs and lower amounts of protein) are the healthiest of all diets.The high fat high protein,high meat intake may make one leaner for awhile,but he claims it shortens our lifespan.Now I am totally confused!

  • Jm

    Dr. Perlmutter, I have a question you will probably answer well. I wonder about the rice consumption by our friends i countries like Japan, China, south Asia. We hear that these people are very healthy. What do you think? thank you for your wonderful work and insights. JM

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