Ditch These 3 Foods to Avoid Brain Fog

ditch-foods

Let’s face it. Healthy foods go out the window pretty fast when pizza hits the table. And it’s not just the mouthwatering taste of melted cheese and tomato sauce that suddenly makes healthier foods seem about as appetizing as a jellied-eel smoothie.

Fast foods like pizza are also appealing because, as the name implies, they’re fast!

As busy as life gets, pizza or microwave lasagna can certainly be a handy way to quickly get a meal on the table without spending hours in the kitchen.

Plus, foods like pizza are a guaranteed hit. When grocery budgets are tight, serving “strange” new healthy foods can seem a waste of money if family members turn up their noses and those foods (and hard-earned dollars) wind up in the trash.

But convenience foods typically have a tradeoff, and the price can be more than unwanted pounds caused by empty calories, bad fats and hidden sugars.

Those foods could be sapping your brain health, making it harder for you to think straight, to remember where you left your car keys or cellphone, or even just focus long enough to complete a crossword puzzle.

In fact, one of the foods I’m going to tell you about might actually be SHRINKING your brain!

But don’t worry.

You don’t need to clear out your cupboards and start a completely different diet to reduce the danger.

If all you do is omit the following three foods from your daily diet, you’ll go a long way in preventing brain fog and protecting your brain health for years to come.

1. Partially Hydrogenated Oils (The FDA Wants Them Gone!)

oil

Partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) aren’t just linked to unwanted weight gain and an increased risk of heart attack. Published studies by the American Academy of Neurology show that PHOs can lead to brain fog, impaired cognitive ability and even brain shrinkage later in life, and the FDA has ruled that all food makers must eliminate PHOs from their products by June 18, 2018.

As an artificial fat made by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oil, PHOs first appeared in 1911 when a German scientist showed Proctor & Gamble how to add hydrogen to cottonseed oil—and voila! Crisco was born, and the public gobbled it up (literally). In addition to being a cheap fat for frying and cooking, Crisco also made pie crusts flaky!

When PHOs evolved into margarine (a.k.a. “oleo”), many advertisers billed the new yellow product as healthier than butter. (I can’t believe it’s not butter!) And wow, was it conveniently spreadable right out of the fridge. If you’ve ever massacred a slice of toast by trying to spread it with chunk of frozen butter, you have some idea of why margarine become such a sensation.

Fortunately for health-conscious Americans, medical research begun in the 1990s has continued to show the link between PHOs and brain health, as well as other major health risks like heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

After thoroughly reviewing all the scientific evidence, the FDA ruled in 2015 that PHOs were not “generally recognized as safe” (or, GRAS) for human consumption, and gave food manufacturers until June, 2018 to get rid of them.

IMPORTANT HEALTH WARNING: Don’t wait until 2018 before removing PHOs from your diet.

PHOs are commonly found in baked goods (especially premade versions like cakes and pies), crackers and other packaged snacks, doughnuts and other fried foods, coffee creamers (both dairy and non-dairy), margarine and ready-to-use dough.

Other names for PHOs:

  • trans fat
  • trans fatty acid
  • various oil names (e.g. palm, canola, vegetable) that are “partially hydrogenated”

As for Crisco...

J.M. Smucker Co. (after buying Crisco in 2001) reformulated the Crisco shortening products in 2007 to contain zero grams of trans fat per serving.

2. MSG (The Flavor Enhancer That Dulls Your Brain)

MSG

Most people think of monosodium glutamate (MSG) as a flavor enhancer only found in Chinese food. The truth is, many common foods contain MSG (disguised under many different names), and while MSG jazzes up flavor, research shows that MSG is a toxin that kills brain cells.

According to neurologist/author Dr. Russell Blaylock (Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills), your brain depends on a delicate balance of natural chemicals to operate smoothly. To protect that balance, your brain has a filtering mechanism called the blood-brain barrier, which blocks the passage of harmful bacteria, viruses and other harmful organisms. However, the barrier doesn’t keep out MSG.

Belonging to a class of chemicals called excitotoxins (which overstimulate brain cells), MSG crosses the blood-brain barrier as a non-essential amino acid chemically similar to glutamate, a natural chemical your brain uses for learning and memory. Once MSG floods your brain, chemical overstimulation wreaks havoc on brain functions, causing headaches and dizziness and causing brain cells to die.

According to Dr. Blaylock, MSG reaches peak concentrations in the brain 3 hours after ingestion, and can remain high for 24 hours. MSG can be especially damaging to people who’ve experienced some form of brain injury (including concussion) or have a genetic predisposition to brain disease.

Found in soups, chips and fast foods, MSG also comes in diet meals, frozen foods, ready-made dinners, frozen pizza and other products that wouldn’t taste like much without chemical enhancement. Trouble is, MSG isn’t easy to spot. Because the FDA doesn’t require food makers to put MSG on labels, food companies have come up with all kinds of sneaky code names, including:

  • vegetable protein
  • natural flavors
  • generically named “spices”
  • hydrolyzed protein
  • plant protein
  • plant protein extract
  • yeast extract
  • texturized protein
  • autolyzed yeast

As a basic rule of thumb, if some food tastes too salty, or has a staggering amount of flavor when ingredients are skimpy (e.g. many instant noodle bowl meals), carefully check the label for MSG.

Also, as general defense against MSG, try adding more Vitamin C-rich foods to your diet like oranges, strawberries, red peppers, Brussels sprouts or kiwifruit. Or take a Vitamin C supplement with meals. Studies show that Vitamin C provides protection against MSG toxicity.

3. Gluten (Are You Putting Your Brain In the Toaster?)

gluten

If you’re in the habit of popping a few slices of bread into the toaster every morning, you just might be toasting your brain in the process.

According to research, roughly a third of Americans have removed or want to remove gluten from their diet (meaning foods made from wheat, spelt, rye and other cereal grains). Consumers are more aware of gluten’s negative health effects (like celiac disease caused by gluten sensitivity), and data from the USDA shows that U.S. consumption of wheat products has steadily declined since 2000.

Despite this shift away from gluten:

  • About half of Americans over the age of 20 eat at least one sandwich a day.
  • Over 90-million households consume at least 2 packages of bread a week, and 34.5-million households eat 3-4 packages a week.

While research by the Whole Grains Council shows a dramatic shift away from refined white flour products to “healthier” whole grains, renowned neurologist and author Dr. David Perlmutter (Grain Brain) maintains that gluten and grains in any form (refined or whole) amount to “a modern poison” that causes dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological problems.

The problem comes down to blood sugar.

When you eat bread (gluten or non-gluten), you’re eating carbohydrates. Your digestive system breaks down those carbs into sugar, which enters your bloodstream. On a diet that only includes small amounts of occasional carbs, blood-sugar levels don’t normally present too many health problems. But the average daily American diet roughly consists of 60% carbs, and evidence shows that sustained levels of high blood sugar can harm brain health.

  • In studies published by Harvard, elevated blood sugar was linked to memory and cognitive deficiencies.
  • In separate studies published by Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy, researchers discovered that people with lower blood-sugar levels scored higher on memory tests compared with people who had higher blood-sugar levels.
  • In a Mayo Clinic study published in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, people age 70 and older with a high-carb diet were 3.6 times more likely to develop cognitive impairment than those who followed a low-carb diet.

Many nutritionists disagree with Dr. Perlmutter and his view that all carbs are bad for brain health. Yet American biologist and author Dr. Preston Estep has a significant point of agreement with Perlmutter in his book The Mindspan Diet.

Basing his brain-health diet on the eating patterns of Japan, Mediterranean France and Italy (countries with the lowest rates of dementia), Estep includes carbs in the diet, but they’re low Glycemic Index (GI) carbs (or, foods that don’t cause high blood sugar).

In other words, where a slice of whole wheat bread, Wonder bread or plain white bagel are all high GI foods, you can still enjoy your morning toast while protecting your brain health by swapping in lower GI grain foods like coarse barley bread, banana bread or an apple muffin made with rolled oats.

Okay, the last one might be hard to get into the toaster, but I think you get it.

Read More about the causes, effects and solutions for brain fog.

Wishing you good health through wise nutrition,
ben

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DISCOVER HOW YOU CAN STABILIZE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE, LOWER BAD CHOLESTEROL WHILE MAINTAINING GOOD CHOLESTEROL AND BALANCING YOUR BLOOD-SUGAR LEVELS.

Hello. This is Dr. Ben, Chief Medical Advisor here at Optimal Health Products, pointing out something important that you may not realize about the toxins in your body.

Most people believe that having a healthy heart is either a matter of good genetics ("he’s just lucky") or a strict diet ("I just have to give up salt").

The truth is, genetics and food choices are NOT the root cause of your struggle to rid your body of the risk of heart disease and a potential heart attack or stroke, no matter how hard you try. Your high blood pressure, bad cholesterol and high blood sugar have little to do with bad genes or ANY of the most common things believed to cause heart disease.

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But before I do, however, it’s extremely important to understand the three critical things that must take place to STOP the potential of heart disease, including the possibility of a heart attack or stroke:

#1 - You Must Balance Your Blood-Sugar Levels.

Sugar is necessary for survival. Blood sugar (or, blood glucose) refers to sugar that’s introduced into the bloodstream to supply needed energy to all the cells in the body. Our bodies are made to regulate those levels, making sure they’re neither too high nor too low.

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Whether you’ve heard of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) or “good” cholesterol (HDL), I assure you. They’re having a MASSIVE effect on the health of your blood.

LDL cholesterol is considered bad because it creates plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can clog arteries, making them less flexible. (This is known as atherosclerosis.) Eventually, a clot can form, blocking a narrowed artery, often resulting in heart attack or stroke. Another condition called peripheral artery disease can develop when plaque buildup and narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the limbs (usually the legs). Either scenario often results in death or life-altering consequences.

HDL cholesterol is considered good because it aids in removing LDL cholesterol from the arteries. Scientists believe HDL acts as a scavenger, carrying LDL cholesterol away from the arteries and safely back to the liver, where it’s broken down and passed from the body.

A healthy level of HDL cholesterol will protect against heart attack and stroke, while low levels of HDL cholesterol have been shown to increase the risk of heart disease.

#3 You Must Stabilize Your Blood Pressure.

Without properly balanced cholesterol and blood-sugar levels, your heart valves become restricted with plaque buildup, and that leads to a damaged and unhealthy heart. All this combined begins to affect other parts of your body and internal organs because they are starved of needed oxygen and blood that is pumped to them by your heart. After years of unhealthy eating, unbalanced cholesterol and blood-sugar levels all over the place, your overall heart health begins to deteriorate. In worse cases, not protecting your heart health can lead to major damage resulting in the need for heart surgery or a heart transplant. In the worst case, deteriorated hearth health can lead to death.

And it gets worse with each passing year, not only making it harder to avoid heart disease but actually causing you to GET A HEART ATTACK OR STROKEno matter how hard you try to avoid it.

The result?

Your stress levels increase. The number you see on the blood-pressure monitor goes up and perhaps worst of all, you begin to live your life in complete fear and feel like your heart is a bomb waiting to go off.

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This is pretty disheartening for anyone looking to maintain healthy blood levels and transform their heart health.

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Chief Medical Advisor
Optimal Health Products Inc.

References

1. Mayo Clinic staff; Diseases and Conditions, Type 1 diabetes, Definition; The Mayo Clinic; 2014: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-1-diabetes/basics/definition/con-20019573

2. No authors listed; “What Is Diabetic Heart Disease?”; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; 2011: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/dhd

3. No authors listed; “What Is Atherosclerosis?”; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; 2015: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/atherosclerosis

4. No authors listed; “What Is Peripheral Artery Disease?”; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; 2015: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pad

5. Mayo Clinic staff; “HDL cholesterol: How to boost your ‘good’ cholesterol”; Mayo Clinic; 2012: http://www.mayoclinic.org/hdl-cholesterol/art-20046388

6. No authors listed; “Who Is at Risk for Heart Disease?”; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; 2014: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hdw/atrisk

7. Akilen, R., Tsiami, A., et al.; “Glycated haemoglobin and blood pressure-lowering effect of cinnamon in multi-ethnic Type 2 diabetic patients in the UK: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial”; Diabetic Medicine; 2010: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20854384

8. Allen, R., Schwartzman, E., et al.; “Cinnamon use in type 2 diabetes: an updated systematic review and meta-analysis”; The Annals of Family Medicine; 2013: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24019277

9. Leech, J.; “10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Cinnamon”; Authority Nutrition; 2016: https://authoritynutrition.com/10-proven-benefits-of-cinnamon

10. No authors listed; “Antioxidant capacity of 26 spice extracts and characterization of their phenolic constituents”; Journal of Agricultural http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16190627

11. No authors listed; “Vitamins and Supplements Lifestyle Guide”; WebMD; 2014: http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/supplement-guide-cinnamon

12. Azimi, P., Ghiasvand, R., et al.; “Effects of Cinnamon, Cardamom, Saffron, and Ginger Consumption on Markers of Glycemic Control, Lipid Profile, Oxidative Stress, and Inflammation in Type 2 Diabetes Patients”; The Review of Diabetic Studies; 2014: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26177486

13. Plaisier, C., Cok, A., et al.; “Effects of cinnamaldehyde on the glucose transport activity of GLUT1”; Biochimie; 2011: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3019305

14. No authors listed; “Side Effects of High Blood Pressure Medications”; WebMD; 2016: http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/side-effects-high-blood-pressure-medications

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