Grain Brain

The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar—Your Brain’s Silent Killers
By David Perlmutter, MD with Kristin Loberg
Little, Brown and Company
New York, Boston, London
@ 2013

If the assertions that Dr. Perlmutter makes in this book are true, then we have all been deceived—and at a very dangerous level. Grain Brain turns the world on its head when it comes to diet and nutrition.

And since we all have brains, this is a book for everyone. Even though neuroscience seems like a weighty subject to tackle, this book is so well written that I found all of the scientific discussions easy to consume and understand.

In a nutshell: Inflammation is at the bottom of just about all human illness. Anything that causes inflammation should be avoided as if your life depends on it, because it does.

Continuing along this line, fat is good for us and is especially good for our brains. Fat does not make us fat, quite the opposite. Saturated fat is good and good for the heart. The only bad fat is a trans-fat. We need these fats to absorb all kinds of brain-healthy and body-healthy vitamins. Cholesterol is also good, and necessary. Yes, eat the yolk of your egg!

You can probably see this coming…carbs are bad. Carbs make us hungry even when we shouldn’t be. They spike our blood sugar, make us insulin resistant, and screw up our biochemistry in all kinds of terrible ways. Not all calories are the same.

The best diet: high fat, low calorie. Say what?

You’ll have to read the book. I found it convincing.

Green veggies are good, very very good. Broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, celery, miscellaneous herbs, spinach, arugula, etc., etc.

And don’t forget to exercise; figure out how to sweat every day.

I remember when I was a kid. Whenever I was thirsty, no one gave me water. They gave me coke. I think from a young age, my body has been battling this deluge of carbs to where normal weight loss became impossible. I always had a sneaking suspicion that the math wasn’t on my side. I would count calories until I was obsessive-compulsive crazy and increase my exercise, but only Herculean efforts could take the weight off. Finally, my goal was to plateau. If I just didn’t gain any more, I could hang on. And the cravings never ceased.

After trying Dr. Perlmutter’s advice, I am not driven crazy by cravings. After normal meals, I am satisfied and go do something else. I don’t know if he’s right about everything, but from my own experience, he’s right, at least for me, about eliminating flour and sugar, completely.

I have an issue with the non vegetarian diet, mainly because of the cruelty of CAFOs. Dr. Perlmutter advises us to eat humanely treated, grass-fed animals. This diet can, however, be applied to a vegetarian diet with the addition of coconut oil and olive oil. If you aren’t a strict vegetarian, I think you’ll get better results because you’ll also add fish oil and eggs.

I’m not going to argue Dr. Perlmutter’s points for him, he does an excellent job in his book, and he provides a list of references at the end. As you might suspect, this book is about brain health, and as it turns out the worst thing you can do for your brain is get type II diabetes.

Gluten also comes up as a real villan here. Perlmutter refers to gluten as a silent germ that we are all sensitive to. Gluten does damage before we ever know it. And once we progress down that path to Alzheimer’s disease, there’s no certainty we’ll find our way back.

Getting rid of gluten can help us will all kinds of seemingly impossible afflictions from cancer to depression to MS.

Dr. Perlmutter is the only neurologist/nutritionist in the United States. This simple fact baffles and amazes me. Why?

Why don’t Western doctors understand that the body is a complex system and that everything is connected? It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that what you eat matters.

Grain Brain is a truly fascinating read.

 

 

 

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