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I Have Alzheimer’s or Another Dementia
Processed foods and health
When I was in my early fifties, I started having problems with bloating and intestinal gas all the time. I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I was told by doctors over the years to eliminate various foods, and I took various medicines short term (they didn't work). None of them mentioned eliminating processed foods. Nothing they recommended worked.
In 2009 when I retired at 62, I moved from Atlanta, GA to Ghana. Within two weeks, my IBS, with all the bloating, was gone, which was totally unexpected. Looking back, here are some of reasons for this change.
In the US, I was eating lots of processed foods like cereals, fast food, bread, cafeteria food, sacks, etc. In other words, I was getting all the added chemicals and added sugar of the typical American diet. Even the cafeteria at my work place used prepackaged food and ingredients which were full of added chemicals and sugar. Also the only food available when the cafeteria was closed was from vending machines and snack bars. At home I wasn't getting any home cooked food but just eating warmed up food made at a factory somewhere.
I don't know which of the hundreds of added chemicals in my food caused my IBS, and if all that added sugar was also a factor. Also we know that some of those chemicals in our food can cross the blood-brain-barrier and we don't know how they effect our brain health. Some of the older chemicals have never been tested on animals and are asumed to be safe. Newer food chemicals are tested not by the government but by the companies that apply for their approval by the FDA. I myself don't feel very confident about their safety. I think the EU does a much better job of protecting their populations from harmful chemicals added to the food than the US.
Now I feel a lot better living in a country where natural food is easy to get. I am also lucky that I have a lovely wife from Ghana who cooks from scratch and takes good care of me.
When I was in Senegal West Africa, the menu was fish or chicken with white rice and vegetables. They cook with palm oil. The beverage was water or tea or a small soft drink (7 oz)--no big gulps. There was no dessert as we know it--cakes, cookies or pies. No candy or chips or other between-meal snacks. Portions were small--no super-sizing. After dinner the kitchen was closed--no night snacking. I lost 25 lbs in 6 weeks without trying. This type of African eating can be beneficial--small meals, no sweets, no between- meal or night snacking.