A diet high in carbohydrates—especially the unhealthy ones, such as white bread, pastries, sodas and highly processed or refined foods—contributes to which of the following medical conditions?
1. Dementia and Alzheimer's disease
3. Cardiovascular (heart) disease
4. All of the above
The correct answer is number 4.
Dr. David Perlmutter, a leading researcher on brain health, has concluded that "even small increases in blood sugar caused by a diet high in carbohydrates can be detrimental to brain health" and pose a greater risk for brain shrinkage, dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
In addition, following a 10-year study involving 175 countries, researchers concluded that "the prevalence of diabetes in the population increased by 1 percent for every 150-calorie increase from sugars, per person, per day."
Lastly, research reported in a National Institutes of Health publication asserts that consuming carbohydrates with a high glycemic index (the unhealthy carbs) is associated with an increase in the risk for heart disease.
But you needn't give up all carbs to avoid these health risks. Simply focus on the healthy options, such as fruits, vegetables, beans and unprocessed or minimally processed whole grains. These carbs provide your body with essential vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients.