Issue: # 7

July 2010

 

Dr. Nancy Emerson Lombardo with HealthCare Insights, LLC

 

 

Hello Friends,

Summer is fully here and boy is it hot!  Eating less sugar will keep us cool and brain healthier. See our featured article and “squelch the sugar.”  For other consumer tips on eating brain healthy, visit our website page on consumer tips. Evidence based guidelines for brain healthy eating

In a second article guest writer, Joanne Koenig Coste MEd, shows us how a discovery of having Celiac disease can lead to a healthier life.  Go to our website to see her fabulous summer salad recipes. Black Bean Summer Salad and Poppyseed Summer Salad

Joanne is famous for her books and expertise on Alzheimer’s Disease.   Here she is sharing another side of her story in hopes of inspiring others.

 

Squelch the Sugar!
  • Limit your intake of highly processed, refined carbohydrates.
  • Avoid foods that contain high fructose corn syrup and refined sugars.
  • Use natural sugar substitutes such as stevia, erythritol, or xylitol in your favorite recipes.  For more information see our website: April Newsletter
  • Choose those foods that help regulate blood sugar levels, including complex carbohydrates (high fiber whole grains, fruits and vegetables), fish and omega 3′s, green tea, cinnamon & turmeric.
  • For the small amounts of sugar in a brain healthy or diabetic diet, use molasses, honey and raw sugar which contribute some nutrients. Eat fruit for dessert.
  • Limit desserts with sugar to a few a week and favor those with healthy ingredients such as nuts, whole grains, fruits.
  • Limit fruits and juice equivalents to 5 per day.

Why sugar is a problem for the brain and heart!

Too much sugar is toxic for the brain because it stresses our insulin system, which in turn puts our brain and heart at risk.

Research suggests that people with pre-diabetes and diabetes have greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease, other dementias and cognitive decline.  Dr. Convit of NYU has shown through CT scan imaging that sugar imbalances actually shrink the delicate hippocampus, a metabolically active part of our brain which is critical for short-term memory and some aspects of emotion.

People who already have blood sugar problems should be especially careful to protect their brains from future cognitive decline by eating brain healthy foods, such as those recommended by the Memory Preservation Nutrition® program

The “highs” and “lows” of eating sugar is a good indication of how profoundly sugar affects our brains. There may be indirect effects as well.

Sugar increases inflammation levels in our bodies, and higher levels of inflammation adds to our risk of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline. Recent studies have also linked excess sugar to increased risk of heart attack, and in April 2010 the Journal of the American Medical Association reported results from the large epidemiological study, NHANES, which established that people with higher intake of sugar, particular from sugars added to processed foods, have higher levels of the “bad” LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and lower levels of the “good” HDL cholesterol. JAMA Even before this latest study, in 2009 the American Heart Association issued recommended reductions in added sugars. AHA .

For additional evidence-based consumer tips on brain healthy eating, go to Memory Preservation Nutrition tips

 

Living with Celiac Disease and Loving It! 
Joanne Koenig Coste, MEd     Author: Learning To Speak Alzheimer’s

My publisher had arranged for an extensive book tour in early 2004.  I was petrified that the abdominal pain I suffered daily and the accompanying bouts with diarrhea and persistent fatigue would leave me incapable of completing the proposed tour that was scheduled to span more than half the country over a two year period.  How could I possibly cope with the pain and the exhaustion?

          For years, I had taken OTC medications and more powerful prescription drugs for various diagnoses – Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Acid Reflux, Anxiety, and possible Colitis or Crohn’s disease.  My dilemma was that none of the meds worked to control the symptoms.  I had learned in earlier travels that survival meant simply not eating when I was away from home.  No wonder I was so tired!   And the weight piled on.  I appeared swollen-faced with edematous extremities.  I felt that I was eating very little but the scale said differently.

For a birthday gift in 2006, my older son presented me with a consultation in Boston with a Naturopathic Physician.  His feeling was that I had tried seemingly every recommended treatment for my maladies and to no avail; my family was growing increasingly more concerned with the overarching fatigue which kept me from family gatherings.  He had heard this physician speak and felt assured that she could help.  I reluctantly kept the appointment.  We talked for a short while and she quickly said “I believe you have Celiac disease (CD) but let’s be sure”.  I had never heard of CD.  Scrapings from multiple orifices were sent to Mayo Clinic and 2 weeks later came the confirmation.  I did indeed have Celiac Disease and most likely had it for many years – undiagnosed and untreated.

She gave me a very strict malabsorption  diet  for the first month followed by directions for a total lifelong  change in my daily menu.  I was depressed and angry and ever so confused; how could I possibly never have another piece of pizza, or chocolate fudge cake, or P&J sandwich on fresh squishy white bread thank you!  My new lifestyle included no wheat, corn, oats, rye, barley or soy products.  She instructed me to attempt purchasing as many organic fruits and vegetables as possible and to eliminate caffeine, additives, and processed foods.

So what do I eat?  Fresh fruits, vegetables, rice pasta, brown rice breads, Quinoa, and other Gluten-free (GF) products.  I rapidly became proficient at reading labels and spotting my enemies.  I began baking my own breads and creating recipes for cookies, salads, and sauces.  I discovered multiple wonderful flours that are even better mixed together – Hazelnut, Quinoa, potato, and tapioca flours are among my favorites – I combine them in equal parts with GF baking powder and a dash of sorghum for great breads, pizza crust, and assorted pastries.

Cross contamination is one of the most difficult parts of living with CD.  We have to keep 2 sets of pots & pans, toaster, etc and I wash my hands constantly. Although some restaurants have great GF menus it is not easy to avoid cross contamination in the kitchens.  CD folk have the added task of avoiding the other areas of ingestion (soy etc) and many restaurants that boast GF are really just free of wheat.  But I am fine and having fun with new recipes. (Go to website for Joanne’s summer salad recipes, Black Bean Salad and Poppyseed Summer Salad)

One consequence of eating gluten free is ingesting fewer B Vitamins added to enriched wheat products.  To avoid deficiencies I take Vitamin B complex and Vitamin D supplements daily and a B-12 injection once a month.  I also take Omega 3 fish oils, and Melatonin to help with sleep. We also eat lots of beans, nuts, and seeds to enhance B, D, and other nutrients.

I dine now on wild caught fish and free range kosher chicken and I am in better health than I have been for years.  What I was eating had been slowly killing me.  I have lost 40 lbs and walk 2 miles every other day.  Life is good!

 

Public invited to five presentations by Dr. Emerson Lombardo July 14th, July 15th, July 20th,  July 21st and August 10th.
See Dr. Emerson Lombardo in Person!

July 14th, 2010: Brain Healthy Lifestyles
This free event will be held in Worcester, MA at Tatnuck Park, 340 May St, Worcester, MA 01602.  This event runs from 11:30-1:30pm.  Come for lunch at 11:30 and presentation at 12:00pm  Check out the events page at www.healthcareinsights.net

July 15th, 2010: Mental Health and Aging Conference
This conference will be held in Boston, MA at the John Hancock Center, 40 Trinity Place, Boston, MA 02116.  This conference runs from 9:00am-4:00pm.  Dr. Nancy Emerson Lombardo will be the keynoter speaking at 10:15am-11:45am. The topic is Evidence Based Recommendations for Brain Healthy Nutrition. Check out the events page at www.healthcareinsights.net

July 20th, 2010: Food for Thought: Healthy Eating for a Healthy Brain
This free event will be held in Newton, MA at The Falls at Cordingly Dam, 2300 Washington Street, Newton, MA 02462.  This event runs from 5:30-7:30.  Refreshment at 5:30 with presentation at 6:00.  Seating is limited so RSVP to 617-928-0007.  Check out the events page at www.healthcareinsights.net

July 21st, 2010: Food for Thought: Healthy Eating for a Healthy Brain
This free event will be held in Haverhill, MA at Haverhill Crossings, 254 Amesbury Rd, Haverhill MA 01830.  This event runs from 5:30-7:30pm.  Refreshment at 5:30 with presentation at 6:00.  Check out the events page at www.healthcareinsights.net

August 10th, 2010: Food for Thought: Healthy Eating for a Healthy Brain
This free event will be held in Middleton, RI at Blenheim-Newport, 303 Valley Road, Middleton RI 02842.  This event runs from 5:00-7:00pm.  Refreshments at 5:00pm with presentation at 5:30pm.  Check out the events page at www.healthcareinsights.net

 

Look for my monthly column in the South Shore Senior News!

For brain health consultations for yourself, your family, or your organization contact me for further information or to book an appointment. 978-621-1926 or email at nemerson@healthcareinsights.net.

Sincerely,

 

Nancy Emerson Lombardo, PhD
HealthCare Insights, LLC
P.O. Box 2683, Acton, MA 01720

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