High-Cal Diets Can Harm More than Your Waistline

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High calorie diets may lead to memory lossBy Kristin Sidorov
As if we needed another reason to cut back on calories, a new study has found an alarming link between high-calorie diets and memory function. In those ages 70 and older, consuming between 2,100 and 6,000 calories a day could double the risk of mild cognitive impairment.

And while you may shrug it off if you’re far from elderly, think again. The study gives a us peak at what our diets can do for us long term, and how we can try to protect ourselves in the future.

These findings point to something we’ve heard before—our healthy (and not-so-healthy) habits follow us. Although the study can’t point to a specific mechanism connecting calories to dementia, it’s not surprising that a link exists. We already know that a healthy lifestyle and diet is beneficial in defending against all kinds of chronic diseases. Adding mild cognitive impairment, which is a precursor to dementia and Alzheimer’s, to that list isn’t a far stretch.

The study is quick to point out that it doesn’t prove a causal relationship between high-calorie diets and mild cognitive impairment; it’s possible that individuals who are cognitively impaired have a tendency to eat more, for example. But overall, it’s a useful starting point, and shows us that there’s more to a balanced diet than fitting into our skinny jeans.


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Ron Pevny is the founder and director of the Center for Conscious Eldering. He received his masters degree in Integral Counseling and Psychotherapy from the California Institute of Integral Studies. He is a Certified Sage-ing Leader with Sage-ing International and is a member of their Coordinating Circle. He is also active in the Life Planning Network and is a contributor to Second Journey. He conducts workshops across the country, including at Earthrise and IONS Retreat Center.

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JJ Smith is the author of the #1 national bestseller and USA TODAY bestseller Lose Weight Without Dieting or Working Out! JJ Smith is a nutritionist and certified weight-loss expert who has been featured on The Steve Harvey Show, The Montel Williams Show, and The Jamie Foxx Show and on the NBC, FOX, and CW Network television stations, as well as in the pages of Glamour, Essence, and Ladies Home Journal. To learn more, check out JJSmithOnline.com.

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