“If you could make just three simple changes in your life to prevent, or even reverse, memory loss and other brain disorders, wouldn’t you?”
So asks Dr. David Perlmutter, in promotion of his PBS special Brain Change, coming soon to your regional affiliate. Three changes. Simple ones. Wouldn’t you?
The 90-minute special is a companion to Perlmutter’s blockbuster book on how gluten and carbs are destroying our brains. In November it became a New York Times number one bestseller. Since its September release, as Perlmutter told me, “It’s never not been on the bestseller list, frankly.”
“Is it still number one?” I asked. A pause over the phone as he checked. In modern interview style, we were both also on our computers.
“As of next week it’s number six … darn.”
The book is Grain Brain: The surprising truth about wheat, carbs, and sugar; your brain’s silent killers. It promises straightforward dietary solutions to prevent the illnesses we most hate and fear.
Why wouldn’t you make three simple changes?
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“The question is, how far will you take the Paleo diet?” Perlmutter asked in a recent video on his YouTube channel. “Here we are at a Chinese grocery store in San Francisco—and this is part of the Paleo diet.”
He holds up a large frog.
“How far will you go?”
That is Perlmutter’s kind of joke. He is not joking when he says that carbohydrates, even the whole-grain carbs that many of us think of as the good ones, are the cause of almost every modern neurologic malady. That includes dementia, decreased libido, depression, chronic headaches, anxiety, epilepsy, and ADHD.
“It may seem draconian,” he says, “but the best recommendation I can make is to completely avoid grains.”
“Most grain foods, whether we’re talking about quinoa, amaranth, the very popular grains of the day, the reality is they still are associated with a carbohydrate surge. They have a fairly high glycemic index, meaning that after 90 to 120 minutes, your blood sugar is going to go up, and that is detrimental to the brain.”
Humans consume calories in the form of three macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Perlmutter describes the current U.S. diet as 60 percent carbs, 20 percent protein, and 20 percent fat. His ideal is close to that of the Paleo diet: 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and 5 percent carbs. He allows for up to 50 to 80 grams of carbs daily, which is about one serving of fruit. The heart of the diet is “good fats like olive oil, avocado, wild fish, organic nuts and nutrient-dense vegetables.”
Read more: Lionsground.com