Anti-Aging Nutrition

April 6, 2019

Anti-aging for most people means keeping wrinkles at bay, but we’re taking it further, with how foods can impact not just those wrinkles, but also feed the brain it needs to maintain a good memory and positive moods as we age. Keep your zest and age gracefully, listen in!

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CASSIE: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. I'm Cassie Weness. I've been a Registered and Licensed Dietician for the past 21 years. And I'm here in studio this morning with Joann Ridout, who is also a longtime Registered and Licensed Dietitian. And you're going to want to stay tuned in all hour long because I know today's topic is one that many of you will be interested in. Today we are talking all things anti-aging nutrition. Now when I say anti-aging, I'm sure some of you are out there thinking, “Oh good, she's going to tell me how I can keep my wrinkles away”. Well, Joann and I probably will touch a bit on that, but today we want to take anti-aging to a whole new level. We want to talk about anti aging for the whole body. And more importantly, we want to talk about anti-aging for the brain.

JOANN: That is right. Good morning Cassie.

CASSIE: Good morning Joann.

JOANN: So, but as a dietitian, working face to face with clients day after day, I know those lines they see in their faces in the morning in the mirror might motivate them to eat better now. Maybe not so concerned about the possibility of losing their memory down the road, although I'm sure that's a concern. But not immediate. It’s not a problem quite yet.

CASSIE: Great point. And you… I'm not currently in clinical practice, but you are in the trenches. So I'm sure you notice that a lot. Women… you know, we're all guilty. We are motivated by staving off those wrinkles. So you know what, if you're listening and that's truly what motivates you to get rid of or, or stave off some wrinkles, well then by all means let that be your motivating factor. But I really feel that Joann and I are here today to present information that not only is going to help you keep wrinkles away, but that will also feed your brain the nutrition that it needs to maintain a good working memory and to maintain a positive mood.

JOANN: Yes, there's so many benefits. It may come as a surprise to many listeners to learn that one of the most damaging foods for both your brain and for your skin is sugar. You longtime listeners know we talk about sugar all the time, right? And sugar comes in all forms, whether it's corn syrup or cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup. I have noticed a lot lately on labels that it does say just corn syrup. They took the high fructose piece off quite often on the label.

CASSIE: Because people started looking for it and stopped buying, right? But what we have to understand is corn syrup is not much better.

JOANN: Yeah, exactly. So that is extremely damaging. So the question you might be asking is: “How does sugar damage your skin? How does sugar cause wrinkles?” That's a good question. Those sugar molecules attach to the collagen fibers. And that causes the skin to lose its strength and flexibility. So wrinkles and sagging skin start to appear. So eating sugar can be the root cause of those wrinkles and aging skin that you see in the mirror every morning. It makes you think differently about your food.

CASSIE: Well, right. And I really want listeners to stop and think about all the sources of sugar that might be lurking in their diet. Because it's not just the obvious forms of sugar, like the Twizzlers and the Halloween candy, if that is still lurking in your house But it's really any high glycemic carbohydrate. Now that's a mouthful. But basically, all I mean when I say high glycemic carbohydrate is any food that's going to turn to sugar fast in your body. So the first thing I think of, Joann, is pretty much any food made with flour. That's going to turn to sugar fast. So we're talking about bread, dinner rolls, croissants… pasta is made from flour. So all of those things will spike your blood sugar. And then I think most of our listeners realize that white potatoes spike your blood sugar. Now that's not just the mashed potatoes on your dinner plate, but what are French fries made from? So French fries will spike your blood sugar; Potato chips will make that blood sugar go high. You know, cakes and pies, all of those things. And really, you know, if you sit down at Easter dinner and have a pile of mashed potatoes on your plate, you're probably not going to get five new wrinkles from that one meal. But it's when day after day, week after week, we're eating some of these high sugar foods… It builds up and it can really cause damage to our skin. And truly, having wrinkles is just one of many signs of the damage that sugar can do to us. Joann, you and I are well aware that pretty much any degenerative disease… So think of arthritis, for example. Any degenerative disease is contributed to or made worse by sugar in some way or another. And I don't know if you can hear my passion at all, but I love talking about the biochemistry behind aging. One because I find it fascinating, but also because I know that if all of you listening hear this information, that it will help motivate you to make better food choices. So with that in mind, really listen up to this next statement: Sugar affects the health of every tissue in your body. Not just your skin, but sugar affects the tissue all throughout your entire body. So what does that mean in real life examples? Well, I'm sure you could think of many. Just like I can, Joann. I'm thinking of sugar and your arteries. Sugar can cause your arteries to become stiff. The more technical term for this would be atherosclerosis. And then what's the next step? Right? We know that over time the stiffening of the arteries can lead to a heart attack. It can all start with sugar. Cataracts. We were talking a lot about that in the break room. Cataracts can be caused in large part from eating too much sugar. Neurological problems can be caused or certainly made worse by eating too much sugar. All of you listening know that diabetes can be brought on by years of eating too much sugar. So the bottom line here is that the aging of your body and the aging of your brain is probably not just because of the number of birthdays that you've celebrated. It's probably because of the number of spoonfuls of sugar that you're eating every year.

JOANN: That's right. I met with a client this week that was very concerned about blockage in her arteries, and knew that one of her arteries was 50% blocked. And so I was working with her on getting the sugar out.

CASSIE: Was that a new thought for her?

JOANN: Yeah, that was a new thought.

CASSIE: Cause still that's a new thought for so many people that “Sugar can clog my arteries”?

JOANN: Absolutely. So who would ever think also that the formation of cataracts could be related to the food we eat? What about sugar? How can sugar cause cataracts? It seems that everyone who's over the age of 50… That seems a little young, but 50 years young… But you know, it is getting younger; Younger and younger that people are having cataract surgery. It used to be people in their seventies and eighties.  In fact, in 2018 over 3.8 million cataract surgeries were performed in the United States. So the American optometric association said this sugar, and how it can cause cataracts to develop is that high blood sugars can lead to swelling. It damages the lens in your eye and you may be at higher risk of developing cataracts. So that means if you are prediabetic, not just diabetic but prediabetic or diabetic, you might be at higher risk of developing cataracts. And today it seems many people believe as people age, they will just automatically need cataract surgery. So is it aging or is it sugar that creates those cataracts? My mom does have diabetes and she had her cataract surgery quite a few years ago. She is now in her eighties, but she was in her seventies when she had cataract surgery.

CASSIE: There is a link.

JOANN: There is a connection.

CASSIE: You know, and I just… On this topic, I want to encourage all of you listening to make sure that your doctor is testing your blood sugars every year. And then be sure that you look at that number because I've seen it too many times where the blood glucose or blood sugar gets tested by the doctor at the annual exam, but so many times it's in that prediabetes range and the doctor doesn't say a thing to the patient. So you need to look at that number because, Joann, you and I know it's a lot easier to reverse that disease if you catch it in the prediabetes stage, rather than waiting until it gets to be diabetes. And we already have to take our first commercial break. If you're just tuning in, you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today we are talking about anti-aging nutrition and before we go to commercial, I want to share an anti-aging nutritional tip. This is for both your skin and your brain. Here we go: Drink at least eight to 10 glasses, eight to ten eight-ounce glasses of water every day. Your skin needs that water for hydration. And get this: Your brain is made up of 75 to 80% water, so even slight dehydration can damage your brain over time. Drink those eight to 10 glasses. Make sure it is plain, purified water and it will help you grow younger, not older. Stay with us, we'll be right back.

BREAK

JOANN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I would like to share another anti-aging tip with you. Tip number two is to eat natural fats with every meal and snack. So we recommend including at least 10 to 14 grams of any of the following fats many times a day, several times a day. So every time you eat a meal or a snack, fats that will support healthy skin and brain function are those natural fats. Those natural fats are olive oil, avocado oil, nuts, olives, avocados, butter and coconut oil. So we want to stay away from those bad fats. The refined oils, such as soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, and cottonseed oil. And I always remind people when I'm teaching classes that those are the ones that aren't labeled. So it's not going to say refined soybean oil. It's just going to say soybean oil. You want to look for an unrefined or cold-pressed.

CASSIE: Good point. Yeah. If you see soybean oil, that's just what you need to avoid, right? Or corn oil. Same thing. It's never going to say unrefined. And if you don't think you're eating hardly any of those bad fats that Joann just mentioned, I want you to walk over to your refrigerator if you're at home. Yeah, take out that jar of mayonnaise. Cause most people listening, if you read the ingredient list, you're going to find that you have soybean oil or canola oil or both in that mayonnaise.

JOANN: And salad dressing.

CASSIE: Yes. Look at the salad… See I make my own salad dressing. I didn't even think of that. Salad dressing has… A lot of brands have soybean oil or canola oil. So anyway, my point is these damaged oils are ubiquitous in our processed food supply. And when we eat them every day, they really are harmful to our health. And so that's the bad fats. So that's a piece of this puzzle. You want to avoid the bad fats if you want to grow younger, not older. But let's get back to sugar because, really when you think about what the average American eats, we seem to have a nation that is having a love affair basically with sugar. Here's a statistic I found researching for the show. So when we look at the average American adult, they are eating 152 pounds of sugar in a year. And then I broke that down cause I'm like, okay, well what would that look like? Cause that doesn't mean a lot to me. So let's look at a week. That means the average American adult is eating six cups of sugar in a week. Or if we go day by day, that's 41 teaspoons… 41 spoonfuls of sugar that these people are putting down their throat: the average American adult. Now to put that into perspective, the American Heart Association came out a couple of years ago and said that women should not be eating any more than six teaspoons of sugar a day for a healthy heart. And we know that's just for overall health as well. And men should not be eating any more than nine teaspoons of sugar a day. And here we have a nation where the average adult is eating 41 teaspoons. We are a nation of sick people.

JOANN: That's right. And that means that foods are turning to six or nine teaspoons of sugar… is your goal. So that would include all the foods that turn to sugar, which is what we always forget about.

CASSIE: Right, like the bread and the breakfast cereal. Right?

JOANN: Exactly. So you might be thinking, I don't eat that much sugar. So where are people getting all this sugar from? So here are just some everyday foods you might be eating that contain a lot of sugar. So does anybody grab a Snickers for quick pick me up now and again? That has eight and a quarter teaspoons of sugar in each bar.

CASSIE: Just in that one little snack. You got eight and a quarter teaspoons.

JOANN: You might be over the recommendation already.

CASSIE: Right, if you're a female. And if any of you are pop drinkers out there, one 12 ounce can… So I looked up a 12 ounce can, but I know a lot of people are drinking the 20 ounce bottles. But even if we just talk about one 12 ounce can, a can of sprite turns to nine and a half teaspoons of sugar. You know it depends on what flavor you choose. If you like Mountain Dew, a 12 ounce can of Mountain Dew turns to 11 and a half teaspoons of sugar. There's a reason why it's called liquid candy.

JOANN: Yes. And so that 20 ounce bottle of Mountain Dew that my son carries around has got 19 or 20. So I always think of it as maybe a teaspoon an ounce.

CASSIE: Like on average. Yeah.

JOANN: So a favorite cereal that is thought to be heart healthy is Honey Nut Cheerios. Right? So over six and a half teaspoons of sugar in just three quarters of a cup.

CASSIE: Which is what the box says is a serving size.

JOANN: Yes, the box calls that a serving.

CASSIE: I don't think many people just pour…

JOANN:  And we know that people fill their bowl. So at least with a small bowl it would be three servings. So we're already almost to 20 teaspoons of sugar.

CASSIE: Joann, I'm having a flashback. And I thought I was so cool in college. You know, every morning I would have, well usually breakfast cereal or a bagel. But I had found this big green bowl at a garage sale and that was my cereal bowl. Because I could put a lot in it, but it was fat free. So I thought it was okay, but I think you're so right that people fill the bowl. So, let's just think about everything we've just said here. Just one serving of any of these common American foods… and you're getting more than the average woman should be eating in a day according to the American Heart Association. So really, I mean, if you want to look old, if you want to feel old, eat the snickers and the cold breakfast cereal. Eat a lot of sugar. And I'm pretty sure your wish will be granted. Your skin will probably wrinkle early. You'll probably get more cavities. You might not be able to remember your address. But I know none of you listening want to go down that road.

JOANN: That's right. So professional quality skincare products and nutritional supplements can help us slow down the aging process. But the key factor is what you eat on the inside of your body. That's what's going to make a big difference on your skin.

CASSIE: Right? The research tells us this. I've seen it time and again, as I know you have in clinical practice. If you put good things into your body, you'll get good things out of it. So I'm betting a lot of people just want us to tell them, Joann, what should they do? What is the anti-aging nutrition plan? Well, the simple answer is eat the Weight and Wellness Way. And that means eating real food in balance. It really is a simple plan. I will say from experience, it's hard in the beginning because it's a change. And we all take time to get used to a change. But when you're eating real food, it gives you all the building blocks that you need to stay young. And just backing up here a minute, you know, and I think real food… The way I explain this to my kids, and I think it works just as well for adults, is a food is real if you can grow it in your garden, theoretically, or pick it from a tree, or if grandma and grandpa could raise it on their ranch. That's real. If it needs to be made in a processing plant, you know, like bread or Honey Nut Cheerios, that's not a real food. But when we eat real food, it gives us the nutrition that our cells need to stay young. And the fact is the healthier our cells, the better they will weather the aging process.

JOANN: That's true. And so after years and years of working with clients, I found the best way to get people to follow an anti-aging nutrition plan is to keep it really simple. It has to be something that the clients put together in their own kitchen without a lot of fancy ingredients. So I think it's important for clients to understand why certain macronutrients are important, what vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids these foods are supplying for our bodies. So here's a great example. It's important to eat foods that will supply us with collagen because there are so many important functions for collagen. And you know, we know collagen is… comes from protein; comes from bone broth. And we're going to expand on that a little more after we take our break.

CASSIE: Yes, we are. Because we definitely need constant supplies of collagen, especially as we get older. So let's talk about that more on the other side of this commercial. In case you're just joining us, you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. I'm Cassie. I'm a Registered and Licensed Dietician. I'm here in studio with Joann, who's also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. Just a couple bits of housekeeping before we go to that commercial. Starting soon, starting the week of April 15th and running through May 15th we are again offering five of our 90 minute classes for that same steal of a deal price that we did a while back. Right? $10 a class. So it's really a great deal. We have so many great titles. Maybe you would be interested in Nutrition to Reduce Your Cancer Risk. That's one of these $10 classes. Another one that always fills up fast is Eating to Reduce Pain and Inflammation. Or maybe this one resonates with you more: Nutrition Solutions for Better Digestion. So those are just a few of the class titles. You can go to our website weightandwellness.com to look at all of the classes, all of the dates that they're being offered as well as times and locations. And I do want to say if you're at all interested, I would say sign up today because some of these classes are almost full already. And if you want my opinion, spending just 90 minutes of your life at one of these Nutritional Weight and Wellness classes could be the start of your journey to the best version of yourself. So again, go to our website, weightandwellness.com or you can call the office at (651) 699-3438 to either ask questions and learn more or to sign up. We'll be right back.

BREAK

JOANN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. I have one more anti-aging tip. We love these things, don't we?

CASSIE: I hope the listeners do too.

JOANN: Yeah, so tip number three is to supplement your diet with essential fatty acid GLA or gamma linolenic acid. That is really helpful for healthy skin. GLA hydrates the skin from the inside out. It helps that dry skin and tissue. And most of our clients find by taking three softgels each day helps them look younger and refreshed. GLA is available in each of our seven locations or online at weightandwellness.com. And I started using that several years ago and it really has helped my dry skin and my dry heels and things like that.

CASSIE: I will never forget one of my first weeks at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, so I was still trying to get a handle on these supplements and what they do for clients. And I had a client whose fingertips were cracked open, and so painful and I started her on GLA. She came back in a month, no more cracks in the end of our fingertips. It works.

JOANN: And especially in the winter.

CASSIE: Especially in the Minnesota winter and in case you don't know this, if you order GLA by going to our website at weightandwellness.com and clicking on vitamins, we don't charge shipping and handling for any of our products. So it's the same price there as it would be if you walked into any one of our locations. So we were… Oh, we had just started talking about collagen, right, before we went to break? So yeah,  to get us back into that, I have a question for the listeners. Is your skin starting to sag? If you can say yes to that, it might be because of a lack of collagen. Collagen helps to prevent sagging skin, but it does a lot of other things for our body too. But first, let me say collagen comes from eating high protein foods or protein rich foods, as well as, like you mentioned on the backside of break there, Joann, homemade bone broth is another great way to get collagen. So basically collagen is a type of protein in our body and you might not know that it's actually the most abundant protein in our body. And collagen is found in our connective tissues and in our soft tissues. So taking that a step further, it makes up our cartilage. So if you have sort of that bone on bone, the rubbing in your joints, it might be because you're not getting enough collagen to make that cartilage. Collagen also is a part of our ligaments. It's a part of our tendons. It's even a part of our bone structure. It's an important part of our digestive system, of our gut health. So it does a lot of things for our body. So I think it's really important to stop and think about, am I getting enough food sources of collagen throughout the day in my diet? Again, it's animal proteins that give you the best source of collagen.

JOANN: That's right. So if you are deficient in collagen, you might experience low bone density or osteoporosis. So you might wonder, “Is osteoporosis an age-related disease or is it a nutrient deficiency?”

CASSIE: There's some good food for thought.

JOANN: It is.

CASSIE: Also, if you're deficient in collagen, as I mentioned earlier, you might have that pain. I hear so many people complaining of knee pain, it seems these days. So if you have knee pain from bone rubbing on bone because you've lost that cartilage, I think then the question you need to ask yourself: “Is that lack of cartilage an age related disease or is it a nutrient deficiency”?

JOANN: That's right. And I can answer that question for a bit here. I am obviously six years older than I was when I started working here. And I used to have terrible knee pain and hip pain and back pain. And eating the Weight and Wellness Way has turned that around.

CASSIE: So you say you're six years older, but really you've grown younger.

JOANN: I feel younger; Much younger.

CASSIE: Right. That's awesome.

JOANN: So if you have sagging skin or an overabundance of wrinkles, it might be from a collagen deficiency. Are wrinkles and sagging skin age-related? Again, or is that a nutrient deficiency? Another question to think about.

CASSIE: And if you haven't guessed by now, we believe all of these body signs that we're talking about are from nutrient deficiencies. You know, and one of the nutrient deficiencies that many people experience, especially as we get older, especially in the female population… But males can experience this too, is a lack of collagen. So I want to spend a little bit more time on food sources of collagen. So I mentioned already proteins are a great source of collagen. When we say protein, we mean animal protein. And on the Weight and Wellness Way of eating, we always recommend that you eat at least 12 to 14 ounces of animal protein a day. Now that might sound like a lot, but we're not saying all in one sitting. We're saying break that up between three meals and a couple of snacks. So it's really just a small portion at each meal and maybe an ounce or two at snack time. And choose what you like. Life is too short to not enjoy your food. So fish could be your animal protein. Maybe some of you love chicken. It could be turkey. We've been doing a lot of eggs on Fridays in our house because we're Catholic and it's lent. So that's another great animal protein. If you do okay with dairy, it could be cottage cheese or cheese. My personal favorite animal protein is beef. …Pork, lamb, I mean there's so many options. And also that homemade bone broth. Homemade bone broth gives us protein as well as collagen. And Joann, you talked about it earlier. I know you've made animal protein before, or excuse me, made animal protein. You've made homemade bone broth which contains animal protein and collagen.

JOANN: I love making that in my crock pot.

CASSIE: And  it's so simple isn't it?

JOANN: Is so simple. You throw the vegetables in, you throw the right bones in-organic or grass fed bones, some water and some vinegar. And use that instead of the box bone broth that you would make soup with. And I like making it with soup because I tend to prefer soup over just sipping on bone broth. But I've done that too.

CASSIE: Yeah. In the wintertime I enjoy sipping on bone broth and I know a lot of our clients that are trying to heal their osteoporosis or osteopenia really benefit from sipping that bone broth. Just drinking it like a cup of coffee. But like you said, if that doesn't appeal to you, use that homemade bone broth in your soup. It is such a rich source of collagen. Another really, really easy way… Oh and I should say, if you go to our website weightandwellness.com, we have that simple recipe written out for you that Joann just mentioned: A recipe for homemade bone broth and we even have a little video to go with it so you can check that out. An even easier way to include collagen in your diet is to add a scoop of Whole Body Collagen Powder. You can throw that in your protein shake in the morning. Or another way to do it, if you want to have a snack in the afternoon of some plain yogurt… throw a scoop of Whole Body Collagen into that. Maybe mix a little fruit in and super simple.

JOANN: That's right. And we want to make sure you want to be sure you're buying a quality collagen powder, ideally grass-fed. The whole body collagen powder is an excellent source, and you can get that on our website at weightandwellness.com.

CASSIE: Yes, you want high quality so you don't do damage. And so that you're actually getting something that works. And I was sharing with you in the break room, Joann, a little bit of a testimonial. So I want to share that with our listeners. One of our fellow teachers, and I asked her if I could share her name and she said yes, absolutely.  So Jennifer Schmid, who's a fellow Nutritional Weight and Wellness teacher has been using collagen powder for many months now. I think it was about six months ago that her and I were on Dishing Up Nutrition together. And it was that day off the air that she was telling me that she had recently started using a high quality collagen powder and her hair was thicker. And she said to me that day, “Look, Cassie, my eyelashes are longer”. So that was really kind of fun. And so I reached out to her yesterday to say, are you still having success and still taking that collagen powder? And she said, absolutely. And not only is my hair thicker, but she said, now it's helping to heal my gut. Or she's been noticing that as she takes it longer. And also she said it's been alleviating some wrinkles. So lots of great things to say about a high quality collagen powder. And I suppose we should take another break. I see Joann giving me a signal over there. I can't believe it's already our final commercial break. You're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. But before we go, I just want to say if you are at all serious about adding an anti-aging eating plan into your life, I would recommend that you take our 12-week Nutrition for Weight Loss program. These classes are so much more than a system to just lose weight. Our Nutrition for Weight Loss program is really an anti-aging plan. After 12 weeks you'll not only look better but you'll feel better too. And we have Nutrition for Weight Loss classes starting April 9th. We're actually offering them in six different locations throughout the St Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota area, and the 12 week program is truly a real food plan and it's based on science: the science of weight loss, the science of health. It's from a locally owned company, which is us, Nutritional Weight and Wellness, and we really do put our clients first. So if you want to learn more or if you want to sign up, you can call the office at (651) 699-3438 and ask any questions you want. You can even ask the price. There are no secrets here, so look into that and we will be right back.

BREAK

JOANN: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. I have just enough time for one more anti-aging tip here. This one is for the brain. Tip number four is to take three to four Omega-3 DHA softgels each day. Omega-three DHA fat in your brain forms the cell membranes and plays a vital role in how well your cells function. DHA is also found in the retina of the eye and research has found that omega-three fatty acids promote healthy emotional balance, memory and positive moods in older people. And Omega-three is also available at each of our seven locations or online at weightandwellness.com. So if you're having trouble controlling your cravings, I encourage you to tune in next week to get some helpful information from Kara and Shelby as they discuss how to control your cravings.

CASSIE: That's going to be a popular topic among many, and we had a caller that didn't want to go on air, but she was wanting to know how to find that recipe for the homemade bone broth. And I think we mentioned it briefly, but it never hurts to repeat it. If you go to our website weightandwellness.com and then click on recipes, you'll find it there. And it really is super simple, but it's nice to have it printed in front of you. You can print it off for free. We also have a short little video if you'd rather just watch how to make it and then go ahead and give it a try yourself. And also there are a ton of all kinds of delicious recipes. So if you want the anti-aging-plan, real food in balance, check out those recipes, and we have them broken down into breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

JOANN: I mentioned earlier that I didn't really care for just drinking bone broth, but I learned to really enjoy it when I learned how to season it. So check out some of those recipes. I figured for myself, I figured out I added a little bit of lemon, a little bit of ginger and it changed the whole dynamic. So it was really good. Just a tip to try some of your favorite seasonings. Spice it up a lot. Yes. So we're going to shift gears here slightly and talk about your brain on sugar. So because of the rise of the frequency of neuro-degenerative brain diseases in the form of dementia or Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease, I think it's important to understand the role that excess sugar plays with these conditions. So sugar in the brain is a double-edge sword. The brain needs a little sugar for energy, but not too much. We know glucose or sugar is the main source of energy for all cells in your brain. And so the functions of your brain such as thinking, memory and learning are closely linked to your glucose or your sugar levels, and how efficiently your brain uses this fuel source.

CASSIE: So true. And if there isn't enough glucose or sugar, your brain function is going to shut down. You know, think about the last time you've skipped a meal or maybe several meals or the last time you were on a starvation weight loss diet. Your glucose level is going to go too low. And when that happens, your neurotransmitters or your brain chemicals, those little guys that send the feel good messages throughout your brain and body, they're not produced in a high enough amount. And so your memory starts to suffer. You're thinking isn't very clear. Your moods and your emotions are probably going to get all out of whack.

JOANN: That's right. So, and again, although the brain needs glucose to function, too much sugar or too much glucose is a bad thing. When you eat processed food containing too much sugar day after day, month after month, year after year, you can develop insulin resistance over your insulin receptors. That insulin resistance blocks glucose from entering into your cells to turn on your cell function. And one indication of this is maybe memory problems or mood swings. I definitely had insulin resistance and I've really worked hard to turn that around in terms of my blood glucose and hemoglobin A1C numbers, but just eating the Weight and Wellness Way gets you in the right place with that. So one indication, as I said, is memory problems, but an interesting fact is when people develop insulin resistance in the brain, they intensely crave sugar.

CASSIE: So is that you? I'm wondering if people listening are relating.

JOANN: Absolutely. It was for me. And it's like their brain is telling them: “I'm not working so I need some glucose. But you've blocked all the pathways so I have no nutrients to help you with your memory.” And your brain is saying “Help”.

CASSIE: Right? So visualize that. You feel like you're giving your brain food, but because you have insulin resistance, it means the food isn't getting into those brain cells. So the cravings stay there because your cells aren't getting the fuel.

JOANN: That's right. It's very interesting. Many new clients, when they come in for counseling, maybe on their second appointment, so they've changed their food for about a month. They come in and say, I have no more brain fog. And you've heard that. So that's pretty profound. The effects of too much glucose or sugar on the brain may be the most profound in people with diabetes; because diabetes is a disease in which that high blood sugar or high blood glucose levels do persist for a prolonged period of time and often before a person's even aware of it.

CASSIE: Yes, we know this all too well, don't we? Because we've worked with many clients over the years with diabetes, with prediabetes… But truly whether we're talking about long term diabetes or just long-term excessive sugar intake, either of these can have devastating effects on the brain. And in fact, our loyal listeners, I'm sure remember listening to our podcast on Alzheimer's disease that we just did, I don't know, maybe a month ago. And we had special guests, Dr. Mary Newport on, and if you remember, she called Alzheimer's disease type three diabetes because that detrimental effect of sugar on the brain and Alzheimer's is a fact.

JOANN: Definitely. Or how about the podcast, just a couple of weeks ago, you and Dar interviewed Dr. Michael Lewis on the devastating effect that sugar has on the brain.

CASSIE: The inflammation that it causes and slows the healing with concussions. That's right. That was a great show.

JOANN: And he talked about how to help us avoid getting too much sugar, but also then if you had a concussion-he was talking about concussions and Omega-three. If you had a concussion, your brain is much better prepared to heal if it has less sugar in it.

CASSIE: Yup. So lay the foundation now. Right? And remember earlier in the show we talked about how the average American is eating about 41 teaspoons of sugar every day and the daily recommended amount by the American Heart Association, and we would stand behind this as well at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, is just six teaspoons a day for women and just nine teaspoons a day for men. Now the upside here is if you simply eat the Weight and Wellness Way of eating real food, you'll be within that healthy daily recommended amount of sugar, and it really the best anti-aging plan, I think, written to date is the Weight and Wellness plan of eating real food in balance. And when Joann and I say balance, remember we just mean the magic number is three. You want… every time you sit down to eat, whether it's a meal or a snack, you want to have an animal protein, a healthy carbohydrate, preferably a vegetable, and some healthy fats. Those three things on your plate and you'll be eating the Weight and Wellness Way of real food in balance. And if you want to learn more, if you're still feeling a bit confused, call the office today. Our number again is (651) 699-3438. If you tell the front desk staff that you want to get on an anti-aging plan, they'll talk you through it. They'll find out what's best for you. Maybe it's a one-on-one consult. Maybe it's an upcoming class that we're teaching. But call the office. You'll you'll be happy that you did. And I cannot believe we have to wrap up this show already. I hope we've given you some practical anti-aging tips that you can use and I just want to remind you our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. Yes, it's a simple message, but it's a powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for listening and have a wonderful day.

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