Anti-aging benefits of less sugar and more vegetables
My friend shared this interesting article with me:
The article explains how our eyes work and what macular degeneration is, and then goes on to the findings of a new study.
Here, quoted, I picked out what I believe to be the most relevant and interesting part:
Quote < < “Each participant’s diet was assessed in terms of a scale called dietary glycaemic index. The food choices with a high glycaemic index are those which raise blood sugar significantly and for a longer period of time. As you would expect, these are food choices that are higher in sugar and carbohydrate.
What the researchers found was quite compelling. Those individuals whose diets had higher levels of high glycaemic index foods had a dramatic increase risk for progression or worsening of macular degeneration.
The authors concluded “persons at risk for age related macular degeneration, especially those at high risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration, may benefit from consuming a smaller amount of refined carbohydrates.”
As we have seen with brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, a diet that favours higher levels of healthful fat while reducing carbohydrates is a diet associated with reduction in degeneration in multiple areas of the human body. In this case, It looks like the science justifies the idea that a lower carbohydrate, lower glycaemic index diet, may go along way to preventing the degeneration of vision that characterizes macular degeneration. > > END QUOTE
Karl: Now here’s the thing, the study observed that people with a high glycaemic index diet, suffered worse macular degeneration. So the researchers then recommend a diet low in sugar and carbs, to preserve eyesight.
I agree, that a diet low in sugar and processed carbs is the way to go, but the question in my mind becomes… Is it the PRESENCE of the sugar and carbs in the body that ACCELERATES macular degeneration, or is it the ABSENSE of other, more nutritious foods the people COULD be eating in the diet, that leads to long-term sub-clinical minor nutritional deficiencies?
You see, if some people in the study were eating lots of sugary foods and starchy carbs, then maybe they were NOT eating other things - like vegetables, oily fish and pastured meats. Were those sugary foods displacing other foods, that could have offered much greater micro-nutrients. Does it follow, that people eating a diet high in sugary foods, processed carbs and other starchy foods, are eating a broadly lower micro-nutrient diet than people eating a diet high vegetables, fish and meats?
In the study results, among the people who ate a diet LOWER in high glycaemic index (GI) foods, the researchers observed that macular degeneration was reduced. So is that because there was LESS harmful sugar and carbs in the person’s body…or is it because those people, instead of eating sugary foods and carbs, they were eating more nutritious foods such as vegetables and fish and organ meats and so on? In the conclusions of the study, the researchers suggest that people eat fewer sugars and starches, this is their conclusion.
In my MND 1-day Seminar, we discuss exactly this topic - this is one of the key reasons why I promote MND Core Principle 1, dropping starchy carbs. They are a ‘displacement food’, they deliver lots of calories, but not many nutrients (a few B vits in whole grains, a little iron, but often the micronutrient content of starchy carbs is synthetic, vitamins and minerals added in a factory). By comparison, eating a diet high in loads of green and brightly coloured vegetables, and oily fish and organ meats and quality pastured cuts of meat, delivers not just energy (calories) but also masses of micro-nutrients.
I suspect, the results these researchers have observed, quoted in this article, are based on the fact that the people eating a lower-average-glycaemic-index diet, not only benefitted from less sugar in their diet, but also benefitted from higher micro-nutrients in their diet, from more vegetables and quality fish and meat.
The study - more details reported here: http://www.drperlmutter.com/study/dietary-carbohydrate-progression-age-related-macular-degeneration-prospective-study-age-related-eye-disease-study/ - doesn’t seem to have made note of WHAT people were eating, only the average GI of the whole diet.
If you come to an MND 1-day Seminar, you will learn much more about this at that event.