Not sexy and not hot but it’s true: being fat can cause dementia.
Not Alzheimer’s true – the cause of that is not yet fully understood though is known by many as Diabetes of the brain. On the other hand the roots of vascular dementia are well understood. This is the second biggest cause of dementia in the UK (over 200,000 diagnosed) and is caused by vascular disease…..caused when the blood supply to and within the brain is disrupted or damaged. Blocked blood vessels and general damage to the vascular system..just like heart disease and just as debilitating.
Vascular disease can cause damage to any part of the brain – where ever the blood flow blockage occurs. So depending on what part of the brain is damaged, you may lose cognitive function (such as perception), physical function or memory loss. Like suddenly coming too in Tescos and not knowing for the life of you what money is for or where you are.
There is a crucial difference between vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s and you need to know this. The causes of vascular dementia are in most cases preventable!
And that is, anything that causes the arteries to clog up and stops the blood supply from flowing adequately: smoking, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, obesity, lack of regular exercise, hypertension you name it, all those factors that can cause cardiac disease can cause this disease too. Lifestyle factors increase the risk of heart disease and increase the risk of dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, if you smoke you double your risk, if you have high blood pressure your risk is up to three times higher and your risk is further increased if you have diabetes.
Here, though is the good news. Lifestyle changes may well reduce your risk, postpone and/or even prevent the onset of vascular dementia. Don’t think that dementia is inevitable….you do have a choice. You need to change up the odds in your favour and actively reduce your risk: lose weight, quit smoking, drink responsibly and take regular exercise…it’s not much is it? And it’s what our clients do at Paleo Works! It’s easier than you think.
If you are reading this then, like us you are chasing optimal health. If your Doctor has told you that you are at risk of heart disease then you are also at risk of vascular dementia.
We urge you to consider this: your lifestyle can affect your future. You have the opportunity to make a difference every time you place food into your mouth and if you take only one thing away from this post make it this: being fat can cause dementia.
Running late from work? Try this easy paleo lemon chicken recipe. It cooks in an hour and has minimum preparation time. We used chicken thighs to bring the dish in on budget. It tastes fresh and summery and light which is great given the current heat wave we are experiencing in West Yorkshire! We had this dish with savoy cabbage which we cooked with black mustard seed, onion, garlic and spare veg from the fridge. The twist was a dash of lime squeezed onto the cabbage mixture when it had finished cooking..yum.
Paleo Lemon Chicken
6 – 8 chicken thighs
I- 2 onions
Turn the oven to 200°C
Brown off the chicken in a frying pan with the coconut oil and place in a roasting tin. Quarter the lemons and squeeze the juice over the chicken then chuck the rest into the roasting tin. Add the onions, carrots, peppers and garlic.
Place in the oven for 45 mins. Remove add the mushrooms and return for a further 15 mins.
Savoy Cabbage Side Dish
Black mustard seeds
1/2 savoy cabbage (shredded)
1 onion + spare veg from the store cupboard/fridge
juice 1/2 lime
Heat the oil
Fry the black mustard seeds til they pop! Add onion and cook til soft. Add spare veg. Add cabbage and garlic and fry for a further 2 to 3 mins.
Remove from heat and add a twist of lime.
Serve with the paleo lemon chicken.
Note to all paleo cooks out there!
You could change this up a little by adding cooked chicken or pancetta or bacon to make this a proper supper on it’s own.