I call the last 100 years “The century of grains and sugar.”
Over that time period, we’ve witnessed an astounding proliferation of grains, especially wheat and corn, along with sugars (sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup), in the diet of modern humans. Not only do they come through obvious sources in the forms of breads, bagels, corn on the cob, popcorn, and soft drinks, but also in less obvious sources like “heart healthy” breakfast cereals, salad dressings, frozen dinners, and instant soup.
In his just-released new book, Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugars–Your Brain’s Silent Killers, Dr. David Perlmutter furthers the case made by Wheat Belly by educating us about how destructive grains and sugars are on the brain. Among Dr. Perlmutter’s deep interests is dementia. He therefore discusses the science behind grain and sugar consumption and the degeneration of brain tissue characteristic of dementia at length.
Particularly enlightening are his discussions about:
–Brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, a protein that is subject to our control and can increase or decrease brain tissue and function.
–The link between statin drug use and impaired brain function–including a section entitled “How carbs–not cholesterol–cause high cholesterol.” Dr. Perlmutter is a neurologist, but understands lipids and lipoproteins better than 99.9% of cardiologists.
–The brain-protective power of ketogenesis–The ketone, beta hydroxybutyrate, in particular, that results from strict carb-restriction and reliance on fatty acid oxidation has potential to provide protection from dementia, as well as potentially enhance mind function and increase metabolic efficiency via stimulating activity and growth of energy-producing mitochondria.
–The brain-enhancing power of exercise–Via BDNF and hippocampal growth responsible for maintaining coordination and balance.
This book is packed with information on how to best preserve brain function over a lifetime. His program starts, of course, with elimination of wheat and sugars, then shows you how to build a program of lifelong brain health using nutrition, exercise, and nutritional supplements.
Add Grain Brain to the short list of recommended reads for the Wheat Belly follower.