Willie Nelson crooned the love tune Sweet Memories. But the truth is that sweets and memories dont go together. For the 105 million North Americans who have too-high blood sugar levels, memories are more likely to be swept away than sweet. And, according to the journal Neurology, even for people who have normal blood sugar levels (70-100 mg/dL fasting), high-normal levels dampen verbal recall more than lower-normal levels do.
What does this mean for you? Your ability to learn and consolidate memories is affected by your diet, physical activity and stress-management choices.
So, to reduce your risk of memory problems, heres a simple plan thatll have you singing Thanks for the Memories.
1. Guard against midsection belly fat, which is linked to dementia, by eliminating the Five Food Felons (added sugars and sugar syrups, any grain that isnt 100 percent whole, and saturated and trans fats).
2. Get up and moving sitting down too many hours a day raises triglyceride levels, lowers good HDL cholesterol and triggers insulin insensitivity (a hallmark of Type 2 diabetes). Dr. Mikes treadmill desk is one smart solution; so is walking for 10 minutes after every 90 minutes of sitting. And start a daily walking routine, heading for 10,000 steps a day.
3. Reduce your stress with 10-20 minutes of meditation using progressive relaxation, mindfulness or breathing routines.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of The Dr. Oz Show, and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. Distributed by King Features Syndicate.