Want to defend against Alzheimer’s? Start measuring these two things every day.
Nothing drives me crazier than seeing misinformation about Alzheimer’s represented as truth in popular culture, the media, and in healthcare. There’s a consistent storyline that we are led to believe that goes something like this: Alzheimer’s is the luck of the draw. You don’t know if you’re going to get it or not. And if you do, there’s nothing you can do about it.
False. False. False.
Alzheimer’s is not random. There are clear risk factors that raise or lower your chances of developing the disease. One of the biggest is metabolic health. If you’re worried about getting Alzheimer’s, start measuring these two things every day!
Fasting blood sugar
Every cell in your body is designed to use two primary sources of fuel: simple carbohydrates and fat. Simple carbohydrates (“sugars” or “glucose”) are the easiest and fastest form of energy that your body can use…under normal conditions.
When you eat simple carbohydrates (i.e. sugar!) it’s broken down in your digestive tract, absorbed through the lining of your gut, and shunted into your bloodstream where it travels to every organ and cell of your body. This process happens super fast and generates an intense burst of energy. Sugar likely helped your early human forebears escape from prehistoric animals at least once!
But sugar then wasn’t like sugar today. Then, sugar was a rare treat. It was the piece of seasonal fruit rotting on the ground or — once humans learned to cook — root vegetables and wild grasses. But it sure wasn’t like today when the average American consumes about two and half a pounds of sugar every week.
So how do you know if you’re eating the right amount of sugar for your body? Check your fasting blood glucose every morning right when you wake up. Do it before drinking coffee, exercising, or stressing about your day because all of these raise blood sugar. If your fasting blood glucose is 99 mg/dL or below, that’s good. It means that any simple carbs you ate last night have been successfully used as energy.
If your fasting blood glucose is 100 mg/dL or above, that’s not so good. It means that the simple carbs you ate for dinner last night…