One more reason the low-fat craze was all wrong

CCK: What it is, why you want it and how to help your body make it

Many of us recall the low-fat craze that defined the dietary bookshelves of the ’90’s. Fortunately, we have learned a few things since then, including:

  1. Eating a low-fat diet is a recipe for hunger, weight gain, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
  2. The low-fat craze evolved (or rather, devolved) from a fabricated experiment at Harvard published in the ’60’s.
  3. Many remarkable benefits are derived from a hormone – cholecystokinin (CCK) – which we produce in response to consuming foods containing fat.

CCK plays an important role in the digestion of fat, and it also communicates satiety to the brain. Low fat = low CCK = far less satiety = hunger with the same amount of calories.

The cognitive benefits of CCK have recently come to light. Assistant Professor Auriel Willette and his team of researchers at Iowa State University discovered that this hormone plays a role in memory formation and preservation of cognitive function. Their study showed that higher levels of CCK corresponded with a 65% decreased likeliness of mild cognitive impairment, the state that precedes Alzheimer’s disease.

Willette and colleagues found that as the brain began to show pathological signs of Alzheimer’s disease (the build-up of tau proteins, in particular), high levels of CCK no longer protected against memory impairment.

How to combat the effects of pathological changes to the brain? Dr. Aron Buchman of Rush University recently published a study showing that increased movement—not targeted exercise, but simple physical activity—protects those in motion from the effects of lesions on the brain that are considered biomarkers of Alzheimer’s disease. (If you’d like to walk and listen, follow this link.)

Putting this science to use in your life…

  • Consume 2 palmfuls of foods containing healthy fats at each meal and one palmful for a snack. Great contenders are nuts, nut butters, seeds, seed butters, olives, olive oil, avocado and fatty fish.

  • If you’re already moving, wonderful. If you’re not, look for ways to sneak extra movement in your day. Your brain will thank you for every extra step!

At Well Empowered, we solve your chronic health challenges using data-driven, individualized natural medicine. How can we help you? To schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation with Dr. Hehmeyer, email [email protected].