I’m sure some of you saw the video above from CBN TV about the new miracle potion for Alzheimers? For once, it’s not a drug. It’s not even a high-carb, low fat diet! Quite the opposite: it’s coconut oil and lots of it. The news is breaking that a ketogenic diet can help people with Alzheimer’s keep their symptoms at bay. A ketogenic diet is a diet that uses ketones converted from dietary fat instead of carbs as energy. To be in “ketosis”, people generally need to eat fewer than 50 grams of carbs per day. The average American eats around 300 grams of carbs a day, just to put that in perspective.
While I’m very excited that this info is being nationally recognized – that fat in the diet can help Alzheimer’s, there are a few things I don’t like about this story.
1. It’s not that there are “ketones in the coconut oil” like the caption for the video states. Or that the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil are the only way for your body to make ketones, like the video says. Ketones are actually created in your body when you eat a “ketogenic diet”, or a very high fat, moderate protein, very low carb diet. Any kind of fat will do; the medium chain triglycerides that comprise coconut oil just get turned into ketones more efficiently than other fats. Ketones are a form of energy – like glucose – that your body can use to run on. You could accomplish ketosis by eating whale blubber and seal meat if you wanted to, like the Inuits have done for thousands of years.
Alzheimer’s is being dubbed as type 3 diabetes lately, which means it stems from blood glucose and insulin issues, just like type 2 diabetes. A high fat, moderate protein, low carb diet (like the Paleo diet) helps balance blood glucose/insulin, so that you never develop Alzheimers, so that you never have to eat whole jars of coconut oil every day to treat it.
It makes sense that this kind of diet is helping people with Alzheimer’s, but it’s better to avoid Alzheimers in the first place. I just wanted to point that out, since I can’t stand it when people say that one food/pill might be the cure-all for a major disease and don’t say anything about how to avoid it in the first place. This kind of ketogenic diet is also being successfully used in people with seizure disorders and autism.
So yes, PLEASE tell everyone you know about this – that Alzheimers, and the ketogenic diet that helps treat it, can be avoided by eating well in the first place. Some day these news programs will get on the “How to prevent major illnesses” train instead of the magic pill/food train.
Stepping down from my soap box now…