Published:

Grain Brain

Authors: David Perlmutter, MD, and Kristin Loberg (contributor) (Little, Brown and Company 2013)



In his new book, Dr. Perlmutter claims that sugar and gluten have a role in everything from chronic headaches and insomnia to depression, epilepsy, ADHD and Alzheimer’s. Billed as a four-week plan to improve brain health, Grain Brain encourages readers to restrict carbohydrates to 30 to 40 grams a day with a maintenance level of 60 grams daily thereafter. Participants are encouraged to get adequate sleep and at least 30 minutes of exercise five times per week. Multiple supplements including coconut oil, probiotics, resveratol and vitamin D are suggested for daily intake. The plan is designed to induce ketosis, as the author suggests that ketones are “far more effective fuel for the brain.”

Grain Brain challenges longstanding beliefs about what constitutes a healthy diet. Not only are gluten- and sugar-containing foods eliminated, but “healthy carbohydrates” such as whole-grain bread, beans and fruit are demonized and regarded as poisonous to the brain. Perlmutter extolls newer research that suggests a ketogenic diet (higher-fat, very-low-carbohydrate diet) is neuroprotective, yet he disregards the potential drawbacks of such an extreme diet regimen.

This plan is quite restrictive and may be difficult for the average person to master. The daily supplement regimen can also make it expensive to maintain. More research is needed on the impact of ketogenic diets and other diet regimens on brain health. However, a key takeaway would be to cut back on excess carbohydrates and embrace heart-healthy fats like avocados, nuts and olives without fear as research suggests these fats boost heart and brain health.


More Articles

Juice: From Weight Loss to Detox, this Trend Is Taking Off

Juice: From Weight Loss to Detox, this Trend Is Taking Off

Incorporating fresh juice into the diet may help some clients meet fruit and vegetable needs, but why and how they “juice” can mean the difference between healthy and harmful.
Nutrition Made Easy for Vegan Teen Athletes

Nutrition Made Easy for Vegan Teen Athletes

Being a vegan teen athlete is not complicated. It is easy for teens to receive proper nutrition for sporting events by eating a variety of foods.
Guide to Registering Online Content with the U.S. Copyright Office

Guide to Registering Online Content with the U.S. Copyright Office

For many bloggers and webmasters, online content represents valuable work—and every word, image and video is a result of time, effort and expertise. Learn why and how to register your online content with the U.S. Copyright Office.


blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertise with Food & Nutrition

View The Current Issue

The latest news and resources from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics — the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. Read More.

Tweets from Nutrition Experts