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​To prevent Alzheimer’s, eat this—not that

Wellness | August 15th, 2013

The very best thing to do with beef is, if you want to include it in your routine, it should be in relatively small portions, well cooked and then you’d put it on a little plate, cut it up into small morsels. And then you’d put it on to your floor and you’d call your cat over to eat it. – Dr. Neal Barnard, author of “Power Foods For the Brain”

While we will forever hear contradicting evidence about pros and cons of consuming meat, dairy and eggs, there certainly will never in our lifetime be a question about the whether carrots, apples and lettuce are healthy for us. Nor will there ever be question about whether we need good nutrition to survive. Nor will researchers ever conclude that there are cognitive benefits to consuming saturated- or trans fats.

So why not cut the mumbo jumbo and just gun for the good stuff?

Dr. Neal Barnard, a graduate of Fargo South High and a New York Times bestselling author, says there is a lot of compelling evidence that a plant-based diet can help prevent Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer – all leading causes of death in the United States.

“Foods can change your life,” he says. And next Friday, Aug. 23, Dr. Barnard is coming to Fargo to talk about precisely which foods enhance our lives, our memories and our energy – and which foods do the exact opposite.

Barnard, who is one of America’s leading healthy-eating advocates, says the absolute worst foods to consume include meat (even chicken, turkey and fish), dairy, eggs or any foods high in saturated or trans fats. Both types are proven to have damaging effects on the brain.

“Emphasize the four healthy groups: vegetables, fruit, whole grain (and) beans,” Barnard says.

Barnard even argues how easy it is to switch to a low-fat, plant-based diet.

“For a lot of folks, diet means going hungry,” Barnard says. “It means eating less food. And that requires constant motivation because, you know, it gets old by about Wednesday. You’re hungry, and you’re thinking why am I doing this? Or a low carb diet where every day you think, okay I can’t have bread, I can’t have fruit, I can’t have beans, I can’t have pasta. That’s rough.

“But when I say, you can have all the pancakes you want, you can have a big bowl of oatmeal piled high with raisins and cinnamon and raspberries and strawberries, and you can go down to the Mexican Village on Main Avenue and you can have the biggest bean burrito you wanted to, and you’re not hungry at all. And still people lose weight. And they actually lose more weight with (that) kind of diet than with any other diet.”

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, North Dakota had a “73% increase in Alzheimer’s deaths since 2000.” The association also estimates by the year 2050, 13.8 million Americans over the age of 65 will have dementia.

Those yearning to kick old habits and pick up some extraordinary healthy new ones can look forward to Dr. Barnard’s presentation at Fargo South which will surely help motivate, inspire, educate and possibly change lives for the better.

IF YOU GO:

WHAT: Dr. Barnard presents “Power Foods for the Brain”

WHERE: Fargo South High, 1840 15 Ave. S.

WHEN: Fri, Aug. 23, 7 p.m.

INFO: pcrm.org

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