Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

Take Grain Brain’s Villainization of Carbs with a Grain of Salt

Grain Brain is the catchy title of a new self-help diet book on the New York Times Advice and How-to Best Sellers lists. The author, neurologist David Perlmutter, makes the case for a slow death to brain cells caused by wheat, “carbs,” and sugar. Those foods, he says, are behind most of the common but incurable neurologic diseases including Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism, anxiety, depression, and others. To prevent and treat those conditions, he recommends a diet of fish, seeds, nuts, and olive oil, sans the “carbs” from grains, milk, fruit, and sugary sweets. Grain Brain is in the same vein as Wheat Belly and other best-selling Paleo-type diet books.

grain brain

David Perlmutter and his co-author, writer Kristin Loberg, followed the diet book formula: reel in the lay audience with indisputable scientific facts and then lead them to ungrounded conclusions because they all sound good. With technical expertise, Dr. Perlmutter explains the workings of the brain and central nervous system. He is up on the hot nutrition topics and buzzwords of the day: inflammation, free radicals, bacteria in the gut, and metabolic fuels.

Sure, we agree that neurological diseases are scary and seem to be everywhere, but are gluten and carbohydrates the cause? Not so fast. David Perlmutter is often called “cutting edge,” which means research verification is needed.  

Grain Brain was brought to my attention by Oldways, a non-profit organization that promotes healthy eating based upon traditional regional diets. They reviewed Grain Brain and found that it distorts current science. They disagree with Dr. Perlmutter’s estimates of the prevalence of celiac disease and gluten intolerance in the population, and with his advice to avoid all grains, even healthy whole grains and gluten-free grains like rice. Oldways says research supports the reverse premise: whole grains like oatmeal, millet, and brown rice supply the very nutrients the brain needs. I disagree with other Grain Brain tenants: nutrient excess – too many calories from all foods – is thought to be the main culprit behind general inflammation, and the brain does not prefer to burn ketones over glucose. Ketones, lactate and glucose are burned under varying metabolic conditions.

David Perlmutter is right: a diet full of sugar and refined starch is unhealthy, but he did not convince me to give up bulgur and farro because they are not the same as bagels, pizza, and cookies. Nutrition experts recommend eating at least forty percent of calories from carbohydrates, and those “carbs” should come primarily from whole foods. I prefer to take from Grain Brain what I already know: fish, seeds, nuts, olive oil, and vegetables, plus legumes, whole grains, fruit, plus lean meat and dairy products, if you take them, are the best foods for health – but only in the amount that you actually need.

Also Read:

Carbs are Confusing: Why Atkin’s is to Blame

Intuitive Eating Shifts the Paradigm of Dieting

10 Essential Foods for Alzheimer’s Prevention

October 21st, 2013

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All diets can be confusing, irrational and contradictory! Here's an easy 1: Count the carbs in a McD burger and the carbs in a slice of watermelon. About the same? How about the fat content in tree nuts compared to an order of fries? About the same? After considering these questions, think of the way your bod uses each of the above. Nuts and the watermelon is easily digested and are excellent for your overall health compared to the other 2. When going back to work after eating a high grease diet you feel tired. That's because your bod has to work hard to digest that mess!

What those on a diet should look at is the foods rich in micronutrients. Fruits and veggies are loaded with these micronutrients. Instead of potato chips, make an easy batch of Kale chips, Spinach, or other Leafy Green chips and use them for a snack. Search the net for many recipes.

Kale and other leafy greens are at the top of list of foods loaded with micronutrients. Once your bod gets enough of these micronutrients in your diet, you'll start losing weight easily and naturally. But you're thinking you've heard it all before - and yes, that might be true, but the fact of the matter is, if you want to lose weight and keep it off, then foods loaded with micronutrients are the only way to fly!

Then you're thinking - fruits and veggies are boring, I want some action in my food. Do your research - there's many, many ways to prepare foods that are extremely healthy and will still blow your taste buds away!

How about barley and mushroom soup with beef broth (but NO beef please!)? Did you know that mushrooms have the most complex nutrients of any food on the planet? Scientists are just beginning to learn what great health benefits are achieved by the mighty mushroom. Mushroom facts:

Every low carb dieter tries to put more chicken and turkey in their diets. But did you know that those 2 animal proteins have the same nutrient load as white bread and white potatoes?

For your health and for your weight eat only micronutrient rich foods as displayed here. I truly wish everyone the very best of luck with your heath and your weight:

posted Oct 26th, 2013 8:07 am


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