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Sugar-free low carb diets help weight loss, depression and dementia

Beware of sugar.
Beware of sugar.
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Sugar recently has been blamed for problems ranging from weight gain to dementia. Some experts say that it's better to eliminate sugar completely from your diet rather than try to eat it in moderation. Bethenny Frankel hosted a diet debate between two nutrition experts on her August 4 talk show to explore whether it's necessary to surrender your sugar in order to succeed at permanent weight loss.

Nutritionist Brooke Alpert, author of "The Sugar Detox: Lose Weight, Feel Great, and Look Years Younger," believes that Americans are addicted to sugar. She disagrees with the idea of eating sugar in moderation. When foods are shown to be unhealthy, Brooke feels that we should eliminate them completely from our diets.

But Keri Gans, author of "The Small Change Diet," disagrees. She feels that by implementing moderation into your diet, you can enjoy your favorite foods. The idea of a "detox" from sugar does not make sense to her.

Consuming sugar does more than add to your waistline, according to Brooke. It also causes premature aging, leading to sagging skin and wrinkles. She also advises staying away from the other "bad" white food: White flour.

Can consuming a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates also cause emotional problems such as depression? Researchers at Victoria's Deakin University believe that it can, and they are conducted a new study to evaluate how a sugar-free low carb diet might help alleviate depression, reported Fairfax Media on August 4.

A recent study from the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Perth showed a link between emotional problems and diets that are high in carbohydrates and sugar. To explore that possibility, researchers are evaluating whether a healthy diet can help relieve depression.

The diet includes fruit, vegetables, olive oil, nuts, dairy and animal protein. Lead researcher Dr. Felice Jacka wants to provide evidence that will persuade both the government and health care providers to encourage patients with depression to improve their diets.

"There's enough evidence to say that a food supply that includes as much highly processed denatured food as ours is contributing to levels of depression as well as other chronic diseases," she stated. "With obesity, heart disease, diabetes and some cancers alone we now have a tidal wave of preventable non-communicable diseases that the World Health Organisation estimates will have a global cost of $30 trillion by 2020 - and that's without adding the cost of depression and dementia which is also influenced by diet."

When it comes to dementia, Dr. David Perlmutter also believes that dietary changes can make a dramatic difference. He is the author of "Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers," which advocates eliminating all grains and sugar.

Dr. Perlmutter believes that high fat low carb diets can be highly beneficial for weight loss as well as dementia, depression and diabetes. "I’d like to see at least 70% of calories coming from fat, including olive oil, nuts, seeds, grass fed beef, fish, and pasture raised eggs," he said in an exclusive interview.

Health blogger Jimmy Moore agrees. He recently teamed up with Dr. Eric Westman to author a book discussing the benefits of ketogenic diets, which range from weight loss to metabolic syndrome to Alzheimer's disease: "Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet."

The book is based on an Atkins-style approach to weight loss. However, rather than go through phases with the goal of maintenance, it explains how to achieve and stay in nutritional ketosis.