Can bread harm your brain? The answer may surprise you!
Dr. David Permutter is an internationally recognized thought leader on nutritional influences in neurological disorders. As a neurologist, he became frustrated by the work he was doing when he realized that he and his colleagues were “focused on the smoke, while we ignored the fire.”
Rather than treating the symptoms, he wanted to uncover the underlying causes of many neurological diseases, including dementia.
He embarked upon some serious research — and discovered that nutrition and lifestyle play a strong role in the condition of a person’s brain.
Now, it’s his life’s mission to bring the idea of preventative medicine to the field of neurology.
Dr. Perlmutter wrote the best-selling book Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain's Silent Killers and now advises patients to avoid high-carb diets.
Why are wheat, carbs, and sugar bad?
For over 99% of our existence, humans did not eat high-carb diets. Most of our calories came from fats and proteins.
A diet full of pasta, baked goods, and cereals is extremely new and we’re simply not good at digesting these types of food.
Our DNA responds to our food choices — novel food choices can cause maladaptive expressions in our very genetic code!
Carb-heavy foods are full of sugars which bind to proteins. When this happens:
1. It increases inflammation.
2. It increases the production of free radicals, which boosts the risk of degenerative conditions, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Studies have found a tie between blood sugar levels and brain shrinkage. In fact, high-carb diets have been found to have 85% increased risk for dementia!
Our natural and normal response to gluten is to produce inflammation. So, if carbs are bad for us, what should we be eating instead?
Fat is the perfect fuel for every cell in your body — including the brain. It’s what we used as a primary source of energy for millions of years!
Becoming acclimated to a low-carb diet can shoot your energy levels through the roof. Once your body becomes used to using fat as fuel, you burn it more efficiently.
As Dr. Perlmutter says, “At the very top of the food pyramid is a little lonesome bottle of olive oil. And that is your friend — it’s pure fat, it’s what we desperately need, it’s what we’ve always eaten.”
Of course, this doesn’t mean that we should be eating all types of fats.
Good fats include:
- Olive oil
- Wild fish
- Coconut oil
Bad fats include:
- Vegetable oils like corn, soybean, and canola (which are highly processed and full of pro-inflammatory omega-3s
How do you break your addiction to carbs? All Dr. Perlmutter asks for is two full weeks of solid commitment.
After sticking with it for two weeks, you’ll feel, look, sleep, and think better, and your cravings will start to lessen. It’s a self-reinforcing lifestyle change that you will feel great about!