Thursday, May 15, 2008

You think what you eat

If Leftover Salmon means nothing more to you than a rollicking bluegrass band, your brain may be in jeopardy. Turn off the progressive rock station and forage instead in your 'frig for dinner remnants rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Fish dishes have long been known as "brain food." Here's why.

Investigators followed the menus and mentation of 1600 aging individuals over five years. The survey results, published in the January, 2004 issue of the journal Neurology, showed an inverse relationship between dietary intake of fish oils and cognitive impairment. In other words, those whose diets were high in marine omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (EPA and DHA) were at a significantly lower risk of losing their marbles over time. They bested the befuddled fish-free folk during mental testing both with respect to accuracy and speed. On the other hand, the group that favored foods rich in cholesterol and saturated fat were more likely to develop memory problems and an inability to learn and apply new material.

The scientists from the Netherlands estimated that the effect of eating an additional 80 mg. more cholesterol each day was similar to the effect of being 3 years older. I don't know how they came to that particular conclusion, but just the disturbing trends here are enough to make me worry about the longterm effects of McD's on my brain.


JeanMac said...

Til 20 years ago, we were beef, beef, beef, Now we restrict it to maybe twice in the month - eating veg. meals often.
I wonder if it has anything to do with his diagnosis - darn.

Haralee said...

I think you can give straight forward advise to your patients, Eat Omega 3 from fish sources and look good and be healthy and alert as you age, or eat McDs and look 3 years older and not very sharp in the mind. Let them choose!

Wendy said...

My dad lived to 85. He loved french fries, white bread and whipped cream.

My mom lived to 74. She loved fresh vegetables, fish, cheese & yoghurt, and whole grains.
Go figure!

Femail doc said...

JM, I think disorders occur most often independent of the life we lead, especially when they hit so young as did W's troubles.

HL, I find many patients wait until they look older and feel less sharp, then I have their attention.

W, My neighbor could be seen up until 2 years before her death at 93 walking down the street to the store each day smoking a cigarette. Some people can get away with stuff and some people run headlong into their destiny no matter what care they take.

Utah Savage said...

I have problems eating fish that I know has been farmed in filthy conditions. Or so I've heard on NPR. But I take fish oil and flaxseed oil. I have the kind of genetic high cholesterol that has always been high, despite the fact that I have been on the slender side. so do you think the supplements are effective in delivering the brain food and the cholesterol problem. High triglycerides too.

And thanks for your comment on strange site. What were you doing in Salt Lake? Med School?

Dreaming again said...

My pastor has a habit of starting each sermon with a joke. 2 weeks ago was this:

A couple turned 51 years old. The woman went into shock as she realized that middle age was well upon them! She immediately changed their diet, their life style and strictly enforced all of the new adventures for her and her husband as the children left the nest and they entered the last third of their life.

Whole grains, fresh fruits, fish instead of steak. Walking, biking ... a strict regimine of exercise ... a very healthy lifestyle.

For the next 37 years they lived an extremely healthy and rigerous healthstyle! At 88 years old, they were in a car accident and both were killed instantly.

Greeted at the Pearly Gates, St. Peter took them into heaven and showed them around.
Rich foods: cheese cake, philladelphia cheese steak sandwhiches, fries ...all you could eat. Potato chips (and you could eat them in BED no less and not worry about the crumbs!)
you could lay around on the clouds all day and never worry about cholesterol or heart attacks or strokes ...

every food of every delacacy that you could imagine ...

The husband turned to the wife and said "WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME?!"
She responded "What are you talking about? I fed you healthy! I gave you years that you might not have had!"
He responded in shock and dismay
"EXACTLY! We could have been here 15 years ago if not for your healthy diet and exercise!"


Wendy said...

Hi Judy, I tagged you in a meme. Head on over to my blog to check it out, but don't feel you have to play, if you're not into that. Have a good week.

Cilicious said...

I've *craved* salmon for years, and would not turn up my nose at the farmed stuff.
And now I am finally living in a spot where I can get good wild salmon, though it seems to be overfished.
Regardless, I am like Wendy's mom, and my husband is like Wendy's dad, and I have the feeling our fates will be similar. Oh well.

Mauigirl said...

Well, we had McDonalds on the way up to the Adirondacks on Thursday night but had salmon tonight! Hopefully it evened out!