By: Austin Perlmutter, MD, Medical Student, Miller School of Medicine
After 20 years, the FDA has plans for a major overhaul of the Nutrition Facts label. This is a big deal, as the sticker is required on the majority of American packaged foods. In reality, the Nutrition Facts label represents one of the best sources of information on our groceries. The FDA claims its changes reflect a “greater understanding of nutrition science,” and will lead to a label that will “[address] current public health concerns.” These are important changes, and here’s what’s actually happening. Continue reading
Last month, you may have seen a post on my Facebook page about an interview I had done with Medscape. A few weeks later, the interview was made available to the general public on WebMD. The main focus of the interview was to allow me to explain how and why gluten and carbohydrates represent such a powerful threat to the human brain.
Now that the article has had a chance to disseminate across the internet, I’ve seen a flood of comments from medical practitioners, industry experts, and interested individuals, asking questions, providing anecdotal evidence, offering support, and much, much more. So, I wanted to take an opportunity to acknowledge some of these comments, offer thanks, and provide some answers. (All comments sourced from the posting on Medscape).
When talking about a Grain Brain lifestyle, and the very similar ketogenic diet, it’s frequently mentioned that we are aiming to keep our bodies in ketosis. However, if you’re new to my work, it may be that you’re not exactly sure what ketosis is, or why we should be worrying about getting our body into this state. Allow me to explain.
Ketones are a special type of fat that can stimulate the pathways that enhance the growth of new neural networks in the brain. A ketogenic diet is one that is high in fats, and this diet has been a tool of researchers for years, used notably in a 2005 study on Parkinson’s patients finding an improvement in symptoms after just 28 days. The improvements were on par with those made possible via medication and brain surgery. Other research has shown the ketogenic diet to be remarkably effective in treating some forms of epilepsy, and even brain tumors.
Earlier this month, the well-respected Journal of the American Medical Association published a report entitled: Added Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases Mortality Among US Adults. The report describes the findings of national survey correlating dietary choices and risk for developing various diseases. In this report, the researchers focused specifically on determining how added sugar to the diet relates to risk of mortality from a cardiovascular event.
The findings were dramatic. There was a perfect correlation between the amount of added sugar to the diet and risk for death from a heart related event. When comparing the group whose dietary added sugar constituted less than 10% of calories to those whose sugar consumption exceeded 25% of daily calories, those consuming the most sugar had a risk of death from a cardiovascular event almost 3-fold higher!