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Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers Hardcover – September 17, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
"Dr. Perlmutter takes us on a detailed tour of the destructive effects that 'healthy whole grains' have on our brains. Modern wheat, in particular, is responsible for destroying more brains in this country than all the strokes, car accidents, and head trauma combined. Dr. Perlmutter makes a persuasive case for this wheat-free approach to preserve brain health and functioning, or to begin the process of reversal." --William Davis, MD, author of Wheat Belly
"If you want to boost your brain power, keep your memory, and lift your mood and energy, as well as heal from a host of other common complaints, Dr. Perlmutter is your guide. This is the definitive instruction book for the care and feeding of your brain!" --Mark Hyman, MD, author of The Blood Sugar Solution
"Dementia and many other brain diseases are not inevitable, nor are they genetic. They are directly and powerfully linked to a diet high in sugar and grains. Grain Brain not only proves this, it also gives you everything you need to know to protect your brain--or a loved one's--now."--Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom
"This book is a treasure. It is filled with self-empowering wisdom and easily understood leading-edge science. It can help you to avoid the devastating effects of an unhealthy diet and the dietary factors which are involved. By learning from the information presented in Dr. Perlmutter's book, you can avoid multiple health and neurological problems."--Bernie Siegel, MD, author of Faith, Hope, and Healing and The Art of Healing
"A provocative, eye-opening scientific account of how diet profoundly influences nerve health and brain function. Grain Brain explains how the American diet rich in gluten and inflammatory foods is linked to neurological conditions. Dr. Perlmutter outlines a blueprint for optimal health and a more resilient brain through proper nutrition and lifestyle. Grain Brain is a must-read!"--Gerard E. Mullin, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and author of The Inside Tract: Your Good Gut Guide to Great Digestive Health
"Dr. Perlmutter is the leading integrative medicine neurologist in North America today. His ability to fully integrate conventional medicine diagnosis and treatment with the latest innovations in nutritional and environmental medicine is phenomenal. As a teacher and clinician, he has fundamentally changed how physicians and patients think about neurological degeneration and, happily, regeneration." --Joseph Pizzorno, MD, coauthor of Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine
"Dr. Perlmutter provides sound advice, supported by the latest and most well respected medical research." --Russell. B. Roth, MD, Past President, American Medical Association
"A galvanizing call to arms against a gluten-heavy diet....Perlmutter's credentials as a board-certified neurologist and American College of Nutrition Fellow make him a uniquely qualified voice in the debate about which foods are best for the brain and body." --Kirkus Reviews
"Mind-blowing and disruptive to some long-standing beliefs about what our bodies require for optimal health...GRAIN BRAIN lays out an easy-to-understand roadmap packed with the latest science." --Max Lugavere, Psychology Today
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It's probably good to say who I am: a retired physician (diagnostic radiologist) whose retirement project has been studying nutrition and its effect on health for the past 15+ years.
The message of this book is that a low carbohydrate, high fat diet promotes brain and overall health primarily by keeping blood sugar and insulin low and controlling systemic inflammation. The diet advocated will help most people manage blood sugar and decrease inflammation for most who are eating a standard American diet (SAD).
Sugar and processed carbs are vilified; no argument since they are not healthy. But unrefined grains and whole plant food starches are given the same label. Interesting, since epidemiological studies uniformly find that large groups of people whose major calorie source is these foods live the longest and have the least chronic disease. The absolutely proven healthy diet is one that is exclusively or mainly whole plant foods including whole grains.
Since this diet avoids processed carbs and starches it will be calorie restricted for most people who will lose weight and have less inflammation. Perlmutter tells his readers that they can usually get their CRP (a commonly used lab test measuring inflammation) to less than 3 after a month or so. On a whole food plant based diet (WFPB) mine is 0.4 which is about par for people eating this way.
Many eating the Grain Brain diet will end up with high serum cholesterol but the author tells us that this is not only OK but good, citing some irrelevant references (too detailed a topic to cover in a review.)
Atherosclerosis, which causes most heart attacks and strokes, is barely covered, on one page mentioned as something everyone gets no matter what the diet. This is absurd which I'm sure the author must know. Many people do not get atherosclerosis- those who have eaten a WFPB diet their whole lives. Those who change to this diet reverse atherosclerosis. A WFPB is the only well-proven way to treat atherosclerosis, still the number one killer of Americans.
Cancer gets a few passing references. Since overweight people get more cancer the author assumes they will get less cancer in spite of many studies associating animal protein consumption, a mainstay of a Grain Brain diet, with more cancer.
The book does advocate eating non-starchy vegetables which is undoubtably a good idea but is unlikely to make up for the other bad advice.
It's frightening to contemplate the number of people whose health has been damaged by this best selling book. I do understand that the author has made a lot of money from the book and other related projects: the American dream (nightmare) to create a very profitable business no matter the effect on health or societal welfare.
Now I DID read the “1 star” reviews. This is my take. Physicians that take the time to do bad reviews on Amazon? Ok. But really, there are studies to support about any angle. Truly. But what grasped me were the authors patients with life altering issues, having such incredible improvement or loss of symptoms... not to mention it is just good science. Sure there might be ways to question some of the studies. But the ones that mattered most were the ones not opposed by the nay-sayers 1 star reviewers. Like how they have long since admitted low fat high carb is not (heart) healthy (etc). Duh.
If you truly believe that high carbs/sugar diets are not an issue in the American diet, then you aren’t looking around. None of the negative reviews that want to poo poo the idea we don’t need so many carbs (grains), fail to understand, it seems, that he has plenty of naturally occurring non-grain carbs in this diet. Enough to do what is needed in regards to carbs in our body!
Society’s whose longevity is related to a plant based diet are typically those very active regardless of age and as was mentioned, a healthy community... that is great for them. Their diets, LIKE HIS, are NATURAL carbs and none processed. In the day of virtual community and low activity, a high carb/low fat diet, well, there is plenty of proof it is not working for us!!
There is also plenty of proof of our deficiency of omega 3’s, Vitamin D, and so forth.
Go ahead and defend your carbs. I think I will go with the basic statistic that diabetics are twice as likely to develope Alzheimer’s and dynentia and take a different path towards wellness... Cuz the road I was on with the SAD (standard American diet) gave me cancer, and put my overall health at huge risk. With low carb I lost a TON of weight, improved my cholesterol ratios and reversed my pre-diabetic state... aye I need grains. Or not!
Again-I highly recommend this book! I am alwo seeing changes in my children as we switch our dietary priorities!
I continue to read up on this info and came across this book. Its a good read.
Top international reviews
I don't exercise due to having arthritis so I'm really grateful to the authors for their proving that food I once considered healthy is in truth.....junk!
7* from me.
This book finally ties them all together with a little science in an easy to understand way. What's also great is towards the end he provides examples and how to be able to still eat "some" bad foods if you're sensible about it.
The interesting part in my opinion. All the books point to the same common factor even though written by totally different people with different objectives. Removing gluten grains and lowering total carb intake. Worth reading.
Makes you look at food differently.
Also sent y Dad a copy of this and he reduced his cholesterol by a great margin.
The way I look at it is: would I have gorgeous tasting food, filled with carbs and gluten, that will just lower my physical and mental abilities, or would I rather be eating less tasteless foods, (not to say you can have the odd “slip-up” now and then), and have a fuller, richer feel to my body. I think this is a no-brainer, to be honest.
Yet, saying all these good things about the book, there are two things I would say which I thought was a bad aspect about it. First, the last chapter is simply an array of recipes, which really should be in an index at the end of the book. Second, the book is filled with case studies and research findings, which are great, but there are too many and it seems like more details on why something is good or bad could be elaborated on, instead of throwing countless findings in the book to “beef it up”. Yes, I’ll reiterate that case studies and research findings are great, but I would like to know more about why Dr Perlmutter thinks something is good or bad.
Above all else, I would give this book five stars, because I believe if you are suffering in some way, and you already have an unstable diet, this book might come in as a good investment.
Oh, and one other point. If you want to take the read seriously, have a notepad and pen for taking down notes, and preferably reread it over again after the first time.