The food pyramid has recently been rearranged to promote more whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, and fewer simple carbohydrates (so-called bad). The major emphasis is to stay away from those simple carbohydrates with a high glycemic index (foods made from refined flour and sugar, and which the body readily converts to simple sugars). Simple carbohydrates have been shown to produce a sharp elevation in blood-glucose levels, which promotes disease. Why the sudden change away from these carbs?
No, we aren’t going to chide you on your couch potato habits, per se. Rather, we are going to let the scientists do it. You see, there’s been a lot of research in the last few years on just how awful long-term sitting spells can be for your health. Obviously, physical health suffers, but now researchers are finding out that lots of sitting can also affect mental health.
It’s no wonder that sleep deprivation is used as an interrogation technique. When you don’t get enough shut-eye a myriad of problems ensure. Studies show that lack of sleep is closely linked to poorer concentration and memory, as well as slower reaction time. What’s more, a long-term pattern of sleepless nights ups your odds of diabetes, depression, heart disease and even weight gain.
Whether it’s abstract concepts or planning our day, why do we seem to think more slowly as we age? To date, there is no definitive answer, but an understanding of the aging brain and its energy requirements offers some clues.
Our children and grandchildren continually remind us of our younger days, when we could perform physical and mental feats with seemingly no effort or fatigue. So, why the age-related loss of energy? And can we do anything to stop or attenuate its progression? Recent research suggests the answer to the second question is “yes.” But first questions first.