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Category: Grain Brain


Sharing Grain Brain

Between Facebook, Twitter, this blog and email, I hear from many of you who tell me you’re sharing Grain Brain, and its message, with family, friends, and just about anyone who will listen. Knowing that all of you feel as passionately about this cause as I do is simply amazing to learn, and I hope we can have a network effect that reaches far and wide.

However, just as many of you tell me about the pushback you experience from “fatphobics and carboholics” who simply tune you out once you start discussing our nutritional plan for optimal brain health and fighting brain illnesses. I’m interested to hear what some of their counter-arguments are. How do you respond? Perhaps I can offer some information that would help support your positions.

  • bill

    Here’s a link to Dr Sigurdsson’s blog post about Grain Brain:


    It seems to me a weak rebuttal, based on nothing.

    • David Perlmutter

      Thanks for sharing this Bill, I’ll be sure to take a listen.

    • David Perlmutter

      Oddly enough, the blog post is actually fairly supportive of our thesis.

  • Michael Kovacs

    Today I got: “We’re all going to die of something!”. That seems to be the general attitude with a lot of fatphobes and wheataholics.

    • David Perlmutter

      Yes indeed. People are often reluctant to accept change.

      • RiRi Ray

        Dr P what do you think about the raw vegan lifestyle?(80-10-10) I was interested in it prior to reading your book-its lots of fruits veggies and some nuts and seeds and very low fat and sodium. One girl I was following on youtube eats enough bananas in a day to feed a classroom of kids. She exercises daily and looks very lean and fit her body is quite enviable but is this lifestyle more harmful than helpful due to its low fat/protein content? the avid followers swear by it but even natural sugar in found in fruit could have adverse effects on the body and brain correct ? your book is like my bible right now it has literally changed my life I cant thank you enough and this is my exercise focus week and im looking and feeling much better so thank you!

    • RiRi Ray

      so true that’s why I don’t bother explaining this amazing lifestyle with them -if they don’t care about their own health why should I?

  • M

    Hi, I saw you on the Dr Oz show. How come you recommend rice but not sweet potatoes or beets?

    • David Perlmutter

      To be sure, rice, sweet potatoes, and even beets are OK to consume. You just have to factor their carb content into your daily consumption of total carbs.

      • Debbie

        Is your belief that the amount of “safe starches” as per The Perfect Health Diet is too much. I’m feeling pretty good eating a lot of those carbs – better than a really low carb diet – and of course eliminating all wheat/grains. I do also eat homemade kefir, and seem to be okay with that.
        I lost 80 pounds many years ago and maintained by force of will and a horrible diet for 25 years. Now I’m in my late fifties and feeling a lot better than I used to. Using Dr. BG’s SIBO protocol my chronic constipation is gone, which feels like a miracle. I’m not skinny – and if I drop a few pounds more have zero energy. So, I want to do my best in terms of diet NOW.
        Thanks so much.

      • S. Demchak

        I’m confused. You are now saying sweet potatoes are ok to consume? Yet the Grain Brain cookbook lists (in the Grain Brain Pantry chapter) sweet potatoes in the “Avoid these general foods” paragraph.

    • RiRi Ray

      Dr Oz still recommend whole grain carbs to his viewers and ive read this In magazines that his diet plans have been featured in I think he needs to jump on the gluten free bandwagon and stop contributing to peoples sickness and obesity

  • Carol D.

    My dad’s a retired cardiologist. I have Type I diabetes (going on 39 years) and was diagnosed with celiac disease 3 years ago. He thinks I’m nuts avoiding all grains and eating more quality fats. My HDL went up beautifully. My LDL has also gone up, however, and he believes this indicates I’ve made a poor choice and aligns with my endocrinologist that a statin is a good idea. He did at least concede that an oxidized LDL test should be done first. I encounter pushback with every doctor I work with, including my own father!

  • Lynn Dell

    Dr. Perlmutter, what I’ve encountered is some genuine interest in reading your book, and people are noticing I’m losing weight after a long time of struggling with this problem. I have not encountered much skepticism. However, I can picture a person telling me something like this: “Years ago the scientific, nutritional, and medical community were pushing the “high quality carb” modest protein, low fat diet based on science. So now this same community is telling us that is all wrong. Why should I believe them now when they were wrong then?” I have found two places which address this – one on your facebook page, and the other is a Youtube lecture, but it is awfully arcane for most people to follow. I would like a good explanation on why the research was flawed, for a general audience. I appreciate the time you give to the internet, and look forward to seeing your tv appearance tomorrow morning.

    • David Perlmutter

      Hi Lynn. These are the critically important points I have explored in Grain Brain with the science to be found in the science section of this site.

  • Hadashi

    I just discovered your book, Grain Brain, and your blog. From what I’ve read so, far, I’m totally convinced. I’m 56, and a keen jogger, but for the past few years have not easily been able to run because of an extra 5 kilograms of body weight. I’ve experimented with cutting out carbohydrates and find that to be quite easy. Are there any other considerations I should heed? – my gallbladder was removed because of gallstones several years ago. Thank you.

    • David Perlmutter

      Without a gallbladder you are at risk for low levels of vitamin D. Might be a good idea to have a blood test.

      • MITO

        I can’t seem to find the answer to my most pressing question about Brain Grain. I, too, no longer have a gall bladder. Meals with fat result in (sorry for the graphic description) floating poop. Will I need to take a digestive enzyme product with meals in order to get the benefits of ketosis?

  • Guest

    It would be great if you could address the esselstyn perspective, as well as Dr Greger at Nutritionfacts.org. These folks support heavy grain use paired with plant based diets–with Esselstyn saying that oil causes endothelial inflammation. Both are vegans. I tried their way–and migraines were much worse and I gained weight. I switched to your approach and I am 15 pounds lighter with dramatically fewer migraines. My doctor said “whatever you are doing, keep doing it”….

    • David Perlmutter

      I did indeed address this in Grain Brain. Bottom line is that humans desperately require fat. Vegetarian diets are healthful provided adequate fat is provided.

  • Teresa

    I have switched to the Grain Brain diet and often times feel nauseated. Is that a normal reaction to the shock to my body of this radical change?

    • David Perlmutter

      I wouldn’t say this is typical. You might want to look at the individual food choices to see if you can identify what may be responsible. Also, make sure you have s=a good probiotic on board.

  • Jill K

    I’ve been GF for 7 years and have always heard snickers or comments from my family regardless that I felt better, my brain fog disappeared and I no longer had headaches. Most of the snickers game from the doctors in my family. With your information my mother and stepfather are now believers. Thank you so much. My son needs to be GF and is at my house. My ex refuses to keep him GF even though my son has asked. He believes it’s all nonsense. I believe being Gluten Free needs a campaign around it to not only put it into the general public but to also make the idea and information more readily accessible to those that aren’t health enthusiasts (yet!). Thank you Dr Perlmutter for your passion on this subject. It’s contagious!

    • David Perlmutter

      Thanks for your support Jill. Hopefully this information can help bring them around.

  • Pamela

    Dr. Perlmutter, we recently moved here to central Florida due to my husband having to retire early because he was diagnosised with Parkinson’s. I have downloaded your book but have yet to read it. He is not very receptive to a gluten free diet but hopefully that will change after reading the book. I’ve seen your videos of the practice of intravenous glutathione. Is that currently being used with PWP? Are you accepting new patients or do you have an assosiciate in the central Florida area that you could recommend? And any other suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks!

  • Sara

    Hi Dr Perlmetter, I remembered watching a video on you tube of a sweet old man with Parkinson’s. You gave him a treatment with glutathione and it was like magic watching the transformation. And then so sad to realize that once his body broke it down he went right back to the way he started. Please know sir that there is an all natural pill, I’ve been taking it for a year now, that is clinically proven through peer reviewed studies to increase the body’s own natural glutathione by 300% in 90 days. So many people with Parkinson’s and many other issues have found relief with this, it’s been such a blessing. If you would be so gracious to allow me to share this info with you, I think you would find it could change the lives of so many.

    • Linda Forsell

      Dear Sara, My husband has recently been diagnosed with Parkinsons. On Dr. Perlmutters website you mentioned a natural pill that increases the body’s glutathione by 300% in 90 days. How may I get more info? Thanks, Linda d

  • Guest

    Speaking of push-back, as soon as I pulled out the Grain Brain book at our little luncheon, a friend said don’t go gluten free because you can never go back to eating gluten. I asked who mentioned that to her and she said her nutritionist. I said they probably had gluten problems if they had GI problems after going back to gluten. Anyway, I’ve been on the diet only one day but swear I feel better. Could be placebo effect. I’ll let you know after a month. I found it interesting that imitation crab and vodka were on the list of problem foods; I find these two items, in particular, make me very ill.

    • David Perlmutter

      Do check back in!

  • Kay Thomason

    Dr. Perlmutter: I have rid myself of gluten and while never a big consumer of sugar, I have used some sugar substitutes in my coffee and those sugar-free drink powders to make cold drinks. What effects do maltodextrin and aspartame, etc. have on the body when used in lieu of table sugar?

    • jimo096

      Great question. I do 1 & sometimes 2 protein/veggie shakes per day. I love them & it is so easy to make a healthy meal. However I have not seen much info good or bad on this topic. I hope it is addressed here.

    • David Perlmutter

      Maltodextrin is a processed starch made from things like corn, rice, potato or wheat. So it may contain gluten and is therefore best avoided. Aspartame may specifically change the sensitivity of the brain to hormones that regulate appetite. Higher aspartame consumption is associated with a dramatic increased risk for obesity and even diabetes, even though it is sugar free.

  • Deb

    I just finished reading Grain Brain. It’s a great book, and I thank you for writing it! I’m in the process of cleaning out/restocking my kitchen.

    I was wondering what you think of protein powders. Some would obviously be out of the question because of what they are sweetened with. I’ve been using Dr. Mercola’s Pure Power Protein.

    • David Perlmutter

      There are several good protein powders available without sweeteners. Choose those that are organic and made from rice or whey. In general, I’m more inclined to reach for real food however.

      • RiRi Ray

        same! id rather eat my calories than drink them!it makes me feel much more satiated and satisfied

  • jimo096

    The push back from big pharma, AG & even the medical communities is amazing. The push back from the obese is also amazing. I work with a lot of heavy folks & few give me the time of day even though I have the body of a 40 year old at age 64. I workout at Lifetime Fitness & have suggested your book & website to several people working out hard, but possessing a large spare tire around their middle. The thought of giving up their precious carbs is more than most can endure. It seems they would rather die fat & sickly than make a few simple changes to their diet. Frankly it is a little depressing.

  • Anonymous

    I haven’t had anyone dispute the science. I just get a lot of apathy and denial. People say you don’t have to diet that much, they would never give up eating xyz…basically they’re too passive to even learn enough to try and dispute it.

    • David Perlmutter

      But you’ve got the facts at your back. Hopefully they will come around soon.

  • Art

    Dr. Pearlmutter, In your book you promote eggs with the yolk, yet the Dec 2013 issue of Life Extension on Prostate Cancer says that eggs promote Prostate Cancer growth and should be avoided.
    What say you?

  • Cam

    Here is my two cents. I don’t plan on telling anyone much. I just send them a link to buy the book and the rest is up to them. My reasoning is no one will ever see this the way I do. The book speaks for itself. I read this book into the wee hours of the morning. A friend recommended it. Three times in the first few chapters “dystonia” is mentioned. This is a rare neuromuscular disorder which I have been tortured with for 5years. I cried when I read this book. I have cleaned out my cupboards and re-arranged what’s left of my life to give this nutritional plan a go. I did try gluten free at one point but I still ate gluten free grains. After just a little less than a week, I feel the brain fog lifting. I am still trying to lessen my other supplements ie like inositol because it is a sugar. It is possible this supplement had stop working anyway. After 5 years I have tried so many dietary changes: juicing fast, vegan, vegetarian, rice, beans and fruit, gluten free, high protein, high carb, etc, I have done chiropractic, various medicines, qigong, yoga, walking, weight training, P90X, no exercise at all, some sort of est type training, acupuncture, acupressure, thai massage. The few times it was almost gone was with the high protein but not completely. I know I was still having some grains and probably gluten etc. I was studying to be a fitness trainer when this happened. I am an accountant by trade. My whole life was ripped from me when this happened. So basically I don’t care what other people think. If they want to get on the bandwagon and try this nutritional plan they can have at it. I, for one, do not care to hear the negativity. For me this maybe my only way back to my life. I am young but I feel like I’m the walking dead. So here is hoping this works. It worked for other dystonia patients. I can imagine it will work for me.

    Thanks to my dear friend Bill who recommended this book to me. Maybe soon I can be the friend I used to be.

  • Jean

    I just finished reading Grain Brain and participated in the Gluten e-Summit. Although I haven’t been tested for gluten sensitivity, I read an article several months ago about the affects of gluten on the body. I decided in September to try going gluten free to see if my peripheral neuropathy symptoms would improve. It is still too soon to tell if my numbness and tingling is improving, but my brain fog is lifting, I have more energy, I’m less irritable, and have lost some weight. I’ve told everyone I know about this book including my two adult children who have epilepsy. They were diagnosed as adolescents with Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy. I always thought it was odd that I would have two children with epilepsy. Now I wonder if gluten could have caused this to happen to them and could it be reversed if they got rid of gluten in their diets?

  • carol

    I had reduced fats in my diet because I have gallstones. Can the grain brain diet cause me problems?

  • McMack

    I loved this book. My question is that I am a recent kidney donor and would like to know how it will affect my one remaining kidney. Thoughts? Thank you.

  • Melissa H

    My sister, niece and I all have a very high intolerance to wheat(not been truly tested for Celiac though), and it primarily presents itself as IBS, headaches and dermatitis herpetaformis. Our mother had been diagnosed about 20yrs ago with a case of CFS which then led to a later diagnoses of Spasmodic Tortocolis then changed to Cervical Dystonia. She had botulin injections for years , then 4 years ago had DBS surgery at UCSF. She said not once did they look at her diet or run any bloodwork to look at sensitivity markers! Denial runs deep in her, that “she hasn’t lived 72 years to not know she has an issue with wheat!” In reading your book I felt the entire thing was written about her! I have given it to her to read and all I repeatedly hear is “dystonia is so rare, (blah blah blah) this isn’t a food related issue” it makes me very sad that it isn’t “clicking” for her in reading your book! She did take a look at the cookbook when it came the other day though…maybe, just maybe she’s willing to make small changes. I found it interesting that none of the UCSF neuro team suggested looking at her diet and do bloodwork and suggest a GF diet, especially since you have cited works of some of the neuro staff in your book.

  • Josh

    I’d like to hear your response to Chris Kressers blog post on the subject: http://chriskresser.com/do-carbs-kill-your-brain

    His main points:

    #1 – We evolved eating whole-food carbohydrates
    #2 – There are many traditional cultures with high carb intake and low or nonexistent rates of neurological disease
    #3 – Modern research does not support the notion that ‘safe’ carbs are harmful
    And also specifically I’d be interested in your thoughts on the Okinawan diet vis-a-vis your diet

  • Lucy

    What are the implications of following a low carb high fat diet without a gall bladder?

  • Tana

    Hi Dr. Perlmutter:
    I have been diagnosed with severe SIBO. I am going to take another test to determine the type of bacteria in my small intestine. However, as I am adverse to antibiotics, would you recommend them to kill the bacteria, and then to re-populate my gut with major doses of probiotics? Or, alternatively, do you recommend that I ingest garlic, grapefruit seed extract or some other non-antibiotic in capsule form to kill the unwanted bacteria? Thanks so much for your insight. I am a HUGE fan of both “Grain Brain” and “Brain Maker” and feel that a healthy Microbiome is the key to our health and optimal functioning.

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