Health Advice



Stay sharp by staying at a healthy weight

By Michael Roizen, M.D. on

David "Fathead" Newman was an outstanding saxophonist who played with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Gregg Allman and Natalie Cole. He earned the nickname "Fathead" from his high school band teacher because he stubbornly refused to learn to read music, preferring instead to play by ear.

Being a "fathead" didn't diminish his artistry, but it turns out that if you have a waistline that's increasingly large because you eat a high-fat diet -- well, that's going to go right to your head, and damage your brain. New lab research has found a clear link between mice fed a diet high in unhealthy fats for 30 weeks and weight gain, the development of diabetes, deterioration of their cognitive abilities, worsening Alzheimer's disease and the onset of anxiety and depression.

The researchers, writing in the journal Metabolic Brain Disease, say it is very likely that, in people, a combination of obesity, age and diabetes also leads to a decline in cognitive abilities, Alzheimer's disease and other mental health disorders. The proactive solution for stable emotions, sharper cognition and a slimmer waist is to make sure you're not eating unhealthy fats -- in red meats, full-fat diary and snack foods -- or refined carbohydrates. Maintain a healthy weight. Eat lots of fruits and veggies. And make sure to get plenty of healthy fats, from omega-3 fatty acids in wild-caught salmon, avocados and walnuts, and omega-9s in extra-virgin olive oil. For a complete rundown of brain-loving, great-tasting recipes, check out the "What to Eat When Cookbook."



Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email

(c)2022 Michael Roizen, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2022 Michael Roizen, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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