GrainBrainThis is Your Brain on Carbs


By David Perlmetter, MD
Little, Brown and Company, $27.00, 323 pages

We know carbs are bad for us, especially white, refined carbs, but did you know that carbs could slowly destroy your brain? That’s the argument that David Perlmutter makes in his book Grain Brain.

Perlmutter, a neurologist as well as board certified nutritionist, and founder of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine, is in a unique position to see how nutrition affects our neurology and his findings are astounding. He charges carbohydrates, especially glutens, with contributing to, if not downright causing, all types of prevalent and preventable diseases, such as dementia, ADHD, diabetes, libido, migraine headaches, depression, inflammation, obesity, and more. He proposes that humans have evolved to eat a high fat, low carb diet, but stresses that they must be the right kinds of fats, and in correct proportion. For instance, omega 3s and omega 6s should be in balance, in a 1:1 ratio. This diet, more similar to the Mediterranean diet than the low-carb Atkins diet, stresses meats, nuts, vegetables, and some fruits, as well as salad dressings and dipping sauces. It actually looks pretty tasty, even from a carb-lover’s point of view.

“This book is about those lifestyle changes you can make today to keep your brain healthy, vibrant, and sharp, while dramatically reducing your risk for debilitating brain disease in the future.”

With so many food books and opinions and diets out there, it’s difficult to know who to listen to. Perlmutter seems to have a valid opinion (no juice fasts or grapefruit diets here) and advocates veggies and meats, so you really can’t go wrong with that. But if you suffer from a chronic disease, have an interest in staving off brain disease, or even just want add more grist to the mill on the topic of food, diet, and nutrition, this might be a good read for you. If nothing else, it’ll help make you more aware of what you’re sticking in your mouth and we all can stand to be a little more aware of that.

Reviewed by Axie Barclay

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