Eating for a healthy brain, info from Dr. Georgia Edes

Hope4

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Dr. Georgia Edes, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist, has a new article at Psychology Today on eating animal fat and brain function.

Here is an excerpt from that article:


Which foods are most likely to set your brain on fire? The two most powerful promotors of inflammation in our modern diet are refined carbohydrates and refined vegetable oils.
Refined Carbohydrates and Inflammation
Refined carbohydrates include all processed sugars and starches—sugar, corn syrup, fruit juice, flour, and most breakfast cereals are just a few of the foods in this category. [for a more complete list see my refined carbohydrates page] Refined carbohydrates cause unnaturally high spikes in blood sugar, which are powerful promoters of oxidation and inflammation. When cells are flooded with too much sugar (glucose) all at once, the chemical pathways they use to process glucose become overloaded, causing free radical by-products to spill out into the surrounding area. Free radicals are like little bulls in a china shop, bumping into neighboring structures and DNA, damaging cells from the inside out (“oxidation”). Cytokines like IL-6 and TNF-alpha are then called to the scene as first responders (“inflammation”).


Vegetable Oils and Inflammation
"Vegetable" oils are oils extracted from seeds--these include soybean oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, corn oil, and many, many others. We were taught that these oils were healthy for us because they are cholesterol-free, low in saturated fat and come from plants, but the truth is that they do not exist in nature, require industrial methods and often chemical solvents to extract, and are loaded with omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation and fight against the precious omega-3 fatty acids our brains need to develop properly and function properly every day. Vegetable oils are found in nearly every processed food in the grocery store—baked goods, salad dressings, chips, snack bars, soups, sauces, fried foods, mayonnaise, etc.




Her own website is called Diagnosis Diet.

Another of her articles at Psychology Today is on cooling brain inflammation with foods.

There are also some videos of her talks at youtube.

Hope this helps someone. :)
 

andyguitar

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Thanks for posting that @Hope4 should serve as a reminder about how food effects the brain. Something not mentioned about Carbs is that eating them raises Tryptophan levels, which is not always such a good thing as elevated Tryptophan is associated with feelings of fatigue.
 

Wishful

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If she's claiming that vegetable oils don't exist in nature, I can't take anything she says seriously.
 

andyguitar

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I think what's ment about veg oils not being natural is about how they are extracted and processed. Heating these types of oil can lead to the formation of free radicals which are harmful to human health when consumed in excess.
 

Wishful

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What might be meant is one thing; what this psychiatrist (not biologist) clearly stated is that those oils don't exist in nature, even though they clearly do exist in seeds (natural and organic). If she wants to claim that processing changes ratios of fatty acids to unhealthy levels, she should state that...and provide evidence. If she's against heating oils, she should make that clear.

She claims that omega 6 fatty acids promote inflammation. Furthermore, she keeps using scare terms, such as 'dangerous' and 'brain on fire'. To me, the article looks like someone misapplying truths and using outright false information to scare people for her benefit (selling books, interviews, facebook likes, whatever).


From https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29610056

'Hence, it is commonly believed that increasing dietary intake of the omega-6 fatty acids ARA or its precursor linoleic acid (LA) will increase inflammation. However, studies in healthy human adults have found that increased intake of ARA or LA does not increase the concentrations of many inflammatory markers. Epidemiological studies have even suggested that ARA and LA may be linked to reduced inflammation. Contrastingly, there is also evidence that a high omega-6 fatty acid diet inhibits the anti-inflammatory and inflammation-resolving effect of the omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, the interaction of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and their lipid mediators in the context of inflammation is complex and still not properly understood.'


I more readily accept the pubmed article about the connection between fatty acids and inflammation not being properly understood at this time than a psychiatrist claiming that 'It sets your brain on fire!!!! Avoid it and your life will be perfect!'

I do agree that people with health problems should experiment with different diets, to see if something makes a noticeable difference for them. I disagree with claims that a certain diet is ideal for everyone. Some people might feel better with less processed vegetable oil; some might feel better if they add a bit more.
 
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I disagree with claims that a certain diet is ideal for everyone.
i think this information is very helpful in further teasing out factors which can affect brain inflammation. Folks can observe their own body's response which is likely more valuable than the generalizations. I don't discard this just because it has shown up in the psychiatric world.

I need a new relationship with my safflower mayonaise.