Your Brain’s Silent Killers (Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar) | Grain Brain Book Review

woman-holding-sandwichI was looking through the book section in my local B J’s Warehouse (something I always do) and a book, entitled Grain Brain caught my attention.

I didn’t buy Grain Brain the first time I spotted it because there was another book that also caught my attention and I didn’t know which book to buy.

One day in July of this year, while perusing the books, I decided to buy Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, MD. Buying Grain Brain was one of the best book investments I have made in a long time.

I bought Grain Brain with my money and I am sharing my review of Grain Brain with you because I want you to learn more about the book as well as add it to your personal library.

Grain Brain is for you if:

  • you want to learn more about how wheat, carbs, and sugar affect the brain
  • you are insulin resistant
  • you are leptin resistant
  • you have headaches
  • you want to lose weight
  • you want to have a healthier brain.

What is Grain Brain?

Grain Brain is a book written by Dr. David Perlmutter, a neurologist who is also the author of The Better Brain Book.

“Your brain….

  • weighs three pounds and has one hundred thousand miles of blood vessels.
  • contains more connections than there are stars in the Milky Way.
  • is the fattest organ in your body.
  • could be suffering this very minute without your having a clue.”

Dr. Perlmutter “exposes a finding that’s been buried in medical literature for far too long: carbs can destroy your brain. Even the so-called healthy carbs like whole grains can cause dementia, ADHD, epilepsy, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, decreased libido, and much more.”

Grain Brain shows that the “fate of your brain is not in your genes. It’s in the food you eat.” Dr. Perlmutter tells it like it is and he makes no bones about sharing the devastating truth about the effects of wheat, sugar, and carbs on the brain. He also includes a 4-week plan.

“Grain Brain teaches you how to take control of your “smart genes,” regain wellness, and enjoy lifelong health and vitality.” (Information  in quotations obtained from Grain Brain cover insert description)

What’s in Grain Brain?

Grain Brain hardback book costs $27 US and $30 CAN. It has 323 pages, 11 chapters broken down into three parts.

Introduction (Against the Grain)
Self-Assessment (What are Your Risk Factors?)

Part I The Whole Grain Truth

Chapter 1: The Cornerstone of Brain Disease (What You Don’t Know About Inflammation)
Chapter 2: The Sticky Protein: Gluten’s Role in Brain Inflammation (It’s Not Just About Your Belly)
Chapter 3: Attention, Carboholics and Fat Phobics: Surprising Truths About Your Brain’s Real Enemies and Lovers
Chapter 4: Not a Fruitful Union: This is Your Brain on Sugar (Natural or Not)
Chapter 5: The Gift of Neurogenesis and Controlling Master Switches: How to Change Your Genetic Destiny
Chapter 6: Brain Drain: How Gluten Robs You and Your Children’s Peace of Mind

Part II Grain Brain Rehab

Chapter 7: Dietary Habits for an Optimal Brain: Hello, Fasting, Fats, and Essential Supplements
Chapter 8: Genetic Medicine: Jog Your Genes to Build a Better Brain
Chapter 9: Good Night, Brain: Leverage Your Leptin to Rule Your Hormonal Kingdom

Part III Say Good-Bye to Grain Brain

Chapter 10: A New Way of Life: The Four-Week Plan of Action
Chapter 11: Eating Your Way to a Healthy Brain: Meal Plans and Recipes

Epilogue: The Mesmerizing Truth

Acknowledgments
Illustration Credits
Notes
Index

My Review

I started reading Grain Brain when I was making changes to my diet. Grain Brain helped me understand how and why certain foods effect my body.

I recall a conversation I had with a friend who is a medical doctor. I told her I was reading Grain Brain and wanted to know what she thought of the book. My doctor friend who is also an author told me that she likes Grain Brain and agrees with Dr. Perlmutter.

She also mentioned that she put her sister on the Grain Brain diet and that her sister is doing well on it. Receiving that kind of feedback from a medical doctor made me feel very good about buying Grain Brain and it motivated me to read the book with an open mind and an open heart.

Here are some quotes from Grain Brain that stood out to me:

  • “…..insulin doesn’t just escort glucose into our cells. It’s also an anabolic hormone, meaning it stimulates growth, promotes fat formation and retention, and encourages inflammation. When insulin levels are high, other hormones can be affected adversely, either increased or decreased due to insulin’s domineering presence. This, in turn, plunges the body further into unhealthy patters of chaos that cripple its ability to recover its normal metabolism.” (p. 29)

Hmm..insulin is very important. Knowing that we can control our insulin levels by the foods we eat is eye-opening. Not only that, but knowing the foods that affect insulin levels is very important.

  • “High blood sugar, you’ll recall, produces high insulin, which is released by the pancreas to move sugar into the body’s cells. The higher the blood sugar, the more insulin must be pumped from the pancreas to deal with sugar. And as the insulin increases, cells become less and less sensitive to the insulin signal. Basically, cells cannot hear insulin’s message.” (p. 65)

Insulin resistance is when the cells do not get the message that cells need insulin. As a result of this, a person starts storing fat.

  • “…..other high carbohydrate foods like potatoes, corn, fruit, and rice, it’s no wonder that Americans are now rightly called “carboholics.” It’s also not surprising that we have an epidemic of metabolic dysfunction and diabetes in our culture.” (p. 85)

There are lots of foods that effect the carbohydrate load in our bodies. Ultimately these foods impact our optimal health.

  • “We can change the expression of more than 70 percent of the genes that have a direct bearing on our health and longevity.” (p. 127)

This is neurogenesis, and knowing that can control our genes is amazing. Dr. Perlmuttler tells us what we can do to change our genetic destiny.

  • “Women carrying extra fat around the belly were 30 percent more likely to suffer from migraines than women without excess belly fat.” (p. 174)

Knowing this tidbit of information should motivate any woman who has extra belly fat do what it takes to banish that belly fat.

  • “DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid that represents more than 90% of the omega-3 fats in the brain.” (p. 188)

DHA is a very important omega-3 fatty acid. I did not know this. Now that I know, I do not skimp on DHA.

My Final Thoughts

Grain Brain is a little technical, but Dr. Perlmutter explains the technical information very well. I am confident that a person who doesn’t have a science background will understand Grain Brain. I especially love that Dr. Perlmutter uses studies to back up the points and you can find the specific study referenced in the notes section of the book.

One of my favorite parts in the book, which he uses throughout the book are the testimonies of patients he has worked with over the years. One testimony that stood out is one in which he helps a mother cure her son’s ADHD, and the son excels in the classroom, out performing his classmates. It is amazing how changing a child’s diet and incorporating a few key supplements can make a tremendous difference in a child’s life who is given a label.

Dr. Perlmutter lays out a 4-week plan for you to follow.  He includes recipes in the book to help you with the Grain Brain diet plan.  I have tried some of the recipes and one of my favorites is the Arugula Salad with Sardines.  Arugula is one of my favorite greens and it pairs well with sardines.

Interested in achieving optimal health and having a healthier brain, read Grain Brain. I promise you after you read this book, you will no longer look at grains, carbohydrates and sugar the same.

I am so glad that I bought this book because it really opened my mind to information and I learned a lot. I highly recommend you read Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, MD.

Image credit courtesty of stockimages at FreeDigitialPhotos.net

 

 

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About the Author

Evelyn Parham started this site in 2010. She enjoys writing, reading, and dabbling in photography and video editing. Learn more about her here.

2 Enlightened Replies

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  1. I have been 100% grain, sugar, dairy, soy, and nut free for about 13 years at this point and I could never in a million years go back to my old habits. I have so much energy and I truly believe my vivacity has to do with my diet 🙂 So I am sticking to it!

    • Evelyn says:

      Hi GiGi!

      That’s great! I appreciate you sharing what works for you. I honestly believe that your diet has lots to do with your energy and vivacity. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

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