This Is How The Keto Diet Can Help With Alzheimer's Disease
When it comes to brain health, prevention is everything. While you can take necessary steps to help heal your brain (remember that we’re not stuck with the brain we have—everyone has the power to take control of their brain health), it’s always important to begin as early as you can. As with most areas of disease, preventing the illness before symptoms even arise is the way to go (yes, even in your 20s!).
Nutritional psychiatrist Georgia Ede, M.D., especially feels this way when it comes to diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
“You don't want to wait until you get Alzheimer's. You want to start now,” she shares on the mindbodygreen podcast.
One of the best ways to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease? It’s actually an eating plan you may be familiar with as it continues to take the nutrition industry by storm: keto.
“I actually work with patients who have early Alzheimer's [and] who are on a ketogenic diet. And we actually see improvements in their mental clarity when they eat a ketogenic diet,” Ede notes.
She tells mbg that a ketogenic diet can stabilize insulin and blood glucose levels. Insulin resistance, she states, actually paves the way for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzhiemer’s, and it’s one of the highest risk factors.
“If you don't have enough insulin in the brain, your brain cells cannot use sugar for energy. So they die,” she adds.
But because keto can stabilize insulin levels, it can be a pretty powerful eating plan to help mitigate one of the biggest risk-factors of the disease.
Don’t just take it from Ede—even the science1 backs up this claim. One study2 even found that a keto diet is an effective form of therapy for patients with neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s.
So if you’re looking for a reason to go keto, you’ll be excited to know that it could be one of the best diets for your brain health. The jury is still out on whether this high-fat, low-carb eating plan can help cure Alzheimer’s entirely, but the experts and evidence has shown that it certainly could be an effective preventative tool to help delay the onset.
“A ketogenic diet is a therapeutic tool that I use in my practice every day,” Ede concludes. Looks like it’s time to stock up on the eggs and avocado. Maybe even throw in a keto brownie recipe, for good measure (keto people deserve desserts, too).
Jamie Schneider is the Beauty & Wellness Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare. In her role at mbg, she reports on everything from the top beauty industry trends, to the gut-skin connection and the microbiome, to the latest expert makeup hacks. She currently lives in New York City.