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According to Steven Masley, MD, the #1 cause of cognitive decline and memory loss is abnormal blood sugar control, known as insulin resistance, which is most commonly created by high sugar intake.

The good news is that we have a lot of ability to impact this condition. And it is something that everyone dealing with cancer should do. When it comes not only to cancer but also for optimizing brain function, we need to avoid the sugars found in table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, white flour, and yes, even whole wheat flour.  Dr. Masley says that when you compare the impact of consuming a bowl of whole wheat flour, white flour, or table sugar, they all have the exact same impact on blood sugar levels. So don’t fall for the “whole wheat is healthy and so I continue to eat lots of it” rationale. Dr. Masley’s conclusion is if we want healthy blood sugar regulation, then we need to avoid eating and drinking all forms of sugar, and we also need to avoid grain flour in any form. He suggests using almond or coconut flour in the place of grain flours.

Other things to avoid include:

  • Trans, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats found in most processed and fast foods.
  • Processed meats (hot dog, sausage, pepperoni, hams bacon, deli meats) preserved with Nitrosamines (nitrates) to extend shelf life. These foods are not only bad for the brain but they are carcinogenic. If you are eating meats, get pasture and organically raised and nitrosamine free. Check your labels.
  • Pesticides:  Studies are clearly showing that pesticide-grown foods are a huge contributor to the onset of dementia and memory loss. Foods to avoid include feedlot-raised meat, dairy and poultry and non-organic fruits and vegetables – especially those found on the dirty dozen list by EWG.
  • Gluten: Did you know that 20% of people are sensitive to gluten, meaning if they eat gluten, it has the potential to initiate an auto-immune reaction, which can cause injury to the brain (and the gut and trigger auto-immune disease). You can get this tested with a gluten antibody test or you can learn to cut gluten out of your diet. If you are avoiding grain flour products, you are probably ¾ the way there anyway.
  • Artificial sweeteners: Sucralose, better known as Splenda is actually chlorinated sugar that doesn’t get absorbed by the body so it doesn’t add calories. The problem is it kills healthy bacteria in the gut, which not only has strong adverse effects on the brain but also on gut and immune function. Avoid all the artificial sweeteners, cut down on all sweets (that’s that sugar thing) and when necessary, use a natural sugar alternative such as stevia, xylitol or erythritol.

Now, what are the 7 foods Dr. Masley recommends as essential for brain health? Here they are:

  • Colorful vegetables
  • Omega-3 rich seafood
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Nuts (except peanuts)
  • Berries (organic please)
  • Cacoa
  • Green tea (can also indulge in 1-2 cups of coffee a day)

Does this sound familiar? Are you beginning to understand the power of a plant-based organic diet (of which most of that is vegetables and a few low glycemic fruits and also healthy fats), while avoiding processed foods, factory-farmed meats and poultry, transfats, white sugar, flour, artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup? It is the foundation not only for helping eliminate or avoid cancer, but also for avoiding other debilitating chronic diseases and setting yourself up to thrive vs survive for decades to come.

See all Susi’s articles at www.evictingcancer.com

 

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