Is Your Diet Making You Stoopid?

big-bowl-of-stupid

New research shows that type 2 diabetics suffer from impaired cognition.

More specifically, type 2 diabetics show significant impairment in the areas of:

  • Executive Functioning, and
  • Speed

executive-functionExecutive Functioning

Executive function refers to the business of making decisions and carrying them out, as when one is deliberately trying to solve a problem.

Executive functions include identifying problems, making decisions, planning, staying focused on a task, adapting flexibly to changing situations, controlling impulses, and regulating emotions and behavior.

Executive functions are important for moment-to-moment activities, and for activities that take place over longer periods.

Example:

Let’s say a typically overweight type 2 diabetic reads about this study and decides that he/she had better do something about their condition.

So, they decide to change their diet and get back into shape.

In order to solve this weight loss / health problem, they need the “executive function” part of their mind to co-ordinate all of steps required for a successful transformation.

  • Identify Problems – Their diet has resulted in diabetes and impaired brain function.
  • Making Decisions – Do they want to change?
  • Planning – What do they need to do to cure their type 2 diabetes? Research & plan implementation
  • Staying focused on a task – Most New Year’s Resolutions have already been broken.
  • Adapting to changing situations – What happens when weight loss stops?
  • Controlling impulses – Can you resist your sugar cravings?
  • Regulating emotions and behavior – Sugar withdrawal is not a pretty sight. Think “temper tantrum”

rubiks-cubeSpeed

Speed refers to, well…speed.

How…fast…can..you…think?

Conclusions

According to the researchers: “Speed and executive functioning are thought to be among the major components of cognitive health.”

With Type 2 diabetes a growing concern among adults of all ages, but especially those above age 30, lead researcher Roger Dixon recommends that we:

  • Check the cognitive status of people with more advanced or severe cases
  • Ensure that diet and medications are effectively employed in all early diagnosed cases; and
  • Enact possible cognitive monitoring or training programs for people with diabetes.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, new cases of diabetes nearly doubled in the past decade, with nearly one new case for every 100 adults between the years 2005 and 2007.

And if that wasn’t bad enough…

Diabetes is a known risk factor for late-life neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Although the deficits detected in the current sample were not clinically significant, they appear (according to subsequent research by the authors) to foreshadow additional deficits. Only further study would reveal whether it’s possible to “connect the dots” between mild early deficits in speed and executive function, and later signs of a progressive cognitive impairment.

donutsMy Recommendations

  • Stop eating processed carbs
  • Stop drinking processed carbs
  • Eat real food

For more specific tips, take a look at the links below.

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5 comments

  1. Insulin the mother of all of our problems. If you consider diabetes at the extreme end of insulin resistance it makes you want to eat high carbs even less.

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