“What can I do to reduce my chance of Alzheimer’s?” As a neurologist, this is one of the most common questions I am asked. My reply was typically “select different parents, get better genes” as little was known beyond that as far as a risk factors for many diseases of the nervous system. We still do not know exactly why people get ALS, Parkinson’s disease, amongst others, but it seems to be more and more clear that while nutrition is not the only factor, it is an extremely important one. More and more studies are being completed that show healthy people get less chronic disease including diseases of the nervous system. There is an abundance of information that comes at us from all directions which can be conflicting and confusing. I have now discovered a resource that I feel confident enough to guide my own and my family’s nutrition and a resource I refer patients to.
Nutritionfacts.org is a nonprofit organization founded by Michael Greger, MD, FACLM to provide science behind nutrition recommendations. He has videos discussing the science behind ketogenetic diets, artificial sweeteners, which plans to eat to combat certain diseases, amongst 100s of other topics. And, it is an invaluable FREE resource. Of note, I have no relationship with this site nor Dr Greger. I am just a very happy recipient of the information given by his nonprofit organization.
If a more healthy diet seems out of reach financially, here are a few additional resources to consider:
Find a Food Program near You
Fair Food Network: fairfoodnetwork.org; 734-213-3999
Based in Michigan, this initiative has a national Double Up Food Bucks program that doubles the value of federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) benefits at farmers’ markets and grocery stores.
Fresh Prescription: ecocenter.org; 734-761-3186, 313-881-2263
This Detroit-based program caters to low-income patients with chronic diseases, caregivers of young children, and pregnant women who are referred by their primary care physicians. Patients receive a prescription for produce that’s filled at partnering farm stands or markets.
Wholesome Wave: wholesomewave.org; 203-226-1112
This national organization can help people start a produce prescription program in their own area. Contact them for a tool kit that includes fundraising strategies and step-by-step instructions.