Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Modern Western diet? It's bad for your brain!

We're on the subject of better brain health! Very timely, given that the new edition of the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is under fire. Abbreviated to DSM-5, this so-called "bible" of mental health conditions and treatments previously listed 90-odd mental conditions, the numbers in the latest volume rising to more than 350! Detractors point to blatant marketing by Big Pharma, with a universal human emotional response, such as grief over death of a loved one, requiring dosing with potent medication! 

But then again, it should come as no surprise that the mental health of the population is suffering - the average Western diet damages your brain! Of course lots of people have known that fact for a very long time - but now Australian researchers at Macquarie University, reviewing decades of evidence, have linked the high-fat, high-sugar, typical Western-style diet to impaired brain functioning and development of neurodegenerative conditions. They make it clear that the same foods that are making us fat are impairing our mental function and are also disturbing our appetite regulation.

The bad news ... there is limited evidence to show that the neurodegenerative decline is reversible. 

Another study on the subject of memory and improving cognition, a topic very dear to every baby-boomer’s heart, the Mediterranean diet rears its healthy head once again. Yep, the benefits of olive oil, lots of red, purple and green vegies, plus seafood, nuts and legumes is undisputed. In other words, the things to avoid are red meat and dairy, those saturated fats that make up such a big part of the typical Western diet. 

The good news ... set your children on the right path, give them the very best possible start in mental (and physical) health. All you need to know about what you and your partner need to do in the time before you get pregnant ...  

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