Grain Brain high fat low carb diet benefits include weight loss, depression, dementia, MS
Dr. David Perlmutter has created a sea change in the world of diet and nutrition with his best-selling book "Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers."
In an exclusive interview, he talked with me about how the Grain Brain diet provides benefits ranging from weight loss to relief from depression to reduced risk of dementia and diabetes.
"For most people, keeping total carbohydrates to around 60 to 80 g per day offers up the best in terms of keeping blood sugar in check and allowing weight loss and ultimately weight stabilization," he said.
How much fat should you consume? "I'd like to see at least 70% of calories coming from fat, including olive oil, nuts, seeds, grass fed beef, fish, and pasture raised eggs," Dr. Perlmutter told me.
The benefits are extensive, both for adults and children, he added. "As far as children are concerned, when their diets are changed as described in Grain Brain, their results are really quite remarkable as positive changes happen so much more quickly compared to us older
For those with conditions such as depression and dementia, Dr. Perlmutter has observed the benefits of his Grain Brain diet in his own patients.
"I continue to practice medicine. I treat patients each day with things like depression and Alzheimer's disease and watching patients respond to a low carbohydrate higher fat diet in terms of these and other issues has been incredibly exciting," he said.
In addition, "there is now an FDA approved medical food that is designed to increase ketones in the blood, and it is used in the actual treatment of Alzheimer's disease having proven effective in clinical trials." How to try it if you aren't in the clinical trial?
"You can mimic the action of this product by simply consuming coconut oil," he told me.
New research also offers evidence that a ketogenic diet can be used to treat certain types of cancer. "The utility of a ketogenic diet in treating cancer is based upon the understanding that cancer cells require glucose to survive and replicate," explained Dr. Perlmutter.
How it works: Normal cells can use fat in the form of ketones for their metabolism. Because cancer cells cannot use fat in the same way, ketogenic diets have "a profound potential in treating cancer," said Dr. Perlmutter.
He recommends Dr. Thomas Seyfried 's book "Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: On the Origin, Management, and Prevention of Cancer." Dr. Perlmutter has used this type of diet in treating cancerous brain tumors called glioblastoma.
Note: For an inspiring story of how a physician used a Paleo ketogenic diet to reverse her own symptoms of multiple sclerosis, read "The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine."
Whether for fighting cancer, reducing your risk of dementia or boosting weight loss, Dr. Perlmutter emphasizes that a higher fat diet with minimal carbohydrates is best. "It is absolutely time that we welcome fat back to the table, and abandon carbohydrates which are basically toxic to human physiology," he said. He has an upcoming cookbook as well: "The Grain Brain Cookbook: More Than 150 Life-Changing Gluten-Free Recipes to Transform Your Health."
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