By: The Dr. Perlmutter Team
The ketogenic diet is one of the most talked about and debated diet trends today. You’ve probably heard celebrities, athletes, and neighbors raving about the benefits of this dietary approach. Interestingly, the science backs up its rapid growth in popularity, as a ketogenic diet has been shown to have numerous health benefits for its adherents. The diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, improve glycemic control in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, help individuals struggling with obesity lower their BMI, and even improve or control symptoms of debilitating neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s and epilepsy. There is even some evidence to suggest that a ketogenic diet can play a role in the treatment of cancer! If it is implemented properly, adopting a ketogenic diet can be a very powerful tool in the fight against a variety of chronic diseases.
If you’ve recently made the decision to transition to a ketogenic diet or are exploring the possibility of a change, chances are you might currently find yourself in a world of confusion. What is ketosis? What are ketones? Can I really eat all the fatty foods I want? How can this possibly be good for me?
Allow me to address some of these questions. Continue reading
I’m often asked how someone who chooses to be vegetarian, or vegan, can get enough protein in their diet.
While that’s an important question, I want to start my answer by pointing out that choosing this lifestyle can put you at risk for mineral deficiencies and vitamin deficiencies (like B12 and D). While these are not destined to happen, they are risks, and ones you must control for.
Now, when it comes to protein, think about nuts and seeds. Legumes and soy tend to not end up on my list of best choices, and I’ll explain why.
Alzheimer’s disease, far and away the most common form of dementia, now affects some 5.4 million Americans, representing the third leading cause of death in our country. Even more troubling is the fact that this number is predicted to double in just the next 15 years. Moreover, women are disproportionately at risk, representing 65% of Alzheimer’s cases. In fact, a woman’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease now exceeds her risk of developing breast cancer. The annual cost for caring for Alzheimer’s patients exceeds $200 billion. All this for a disease for which we currently have no meaningful treatment.
This is sobering information that should cause us to take a step back and wonder why this is happening in the first place. Continue reading
Go to the mall. See a movie. Look around next time you’re in an airport. What you’ll see is the confirmation of all the statistics that we’re hearing so much about these days related to the ever-increasing prevalence of obesity. It’s everywhere and it’s affecting most of us.
Books, online information, infomercials, daytime T.V., and even nightly news programs are constantly hammering us with the scary news that relates increasing abdominal girth to just about every bad medical condition you don’t want to get. At the same time, these same resources offer up some new trendy solution to the obesity epidemic daily, often in the form of some new and exotic dietary supplement.
Truth is, losing weight doesn’t happen when you give in and buy the latest pill. Weight loss happens when the body shifts from storing fat to burning fat. It is that simple, and far and away how we signal our metabolism to make this fundamental shift depends on what we choose to eat. Continue reading
Growth hormone for the brain. What a concept. Truth is, science has indeed identified a protein that does exactly that. It’s called brain-derived neurotrophic hormone (BDNF). While this may sound compelling in name and implication, let’s take a step back and look at what the science tells us about this incredibly important actor in brain health.
BDNF is a protein that plays a pivotal role in neuronal health. Your brain contains as many as 100 billion neurons and the health, vitality, and, perhaps most importantly, functionality of each one of your brain cells is intimately influenced by BDNF.
Early in life, BDNF regulates not only the growth of brain cells, but also their ability to make connections to other brain cells, a process fundamental to our ability to create a more powerful brain. But keep in mind that the process of growing new brain cells, neurogenesis, continues throughout your entire life! Think of it. As you are reading this report, your brain is actively producing new brain cells, and brain cells are always busy creating new connections with their neighbors in a process called neuroplasticity.
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).
I love to hear from fellow medical professionals like Christine, who have shifted their way of thinking based on their personal experience with a changed diet/lifestyle. – Dr. Perlmutter
I have battled my weight all my life. In my early 20’s, an allergist warned me that I was sensitive to many grains and that I should eat them sparingly. I ignored it. At 49 I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
I continued eating my usual diet and my blood sugars continued to rise, as did my insulin doses. When I was told I needed four injections a day as well as oral medications, I had just about had it. I was overweight significantly, felt terrible and awoke every morning with nausea and aching bones and joints. On the advice of a friend, I decided to give up carbohydrates.
The success Cindy has seen with her migraines has been well-documented in others. There are some studies available on my site that highlight this. – Dr. Perlmutter
I have suffered from migraines for 26 years. They have been debilitating and over the years I have tried everything to prevent them. My neurologist has prescribed an arsenal of drugs, including beta-blockers, anti-depressants, calcium channel blockers, antihistamines and topamax. I tried eliminating triggers from my diet to no avail. I always got a migraine when the pressure dropped and there was a storm. Nothing stopped my weekly headaches. Sometimes I had them several times a week.
Four years ago I found a doctor that changed my way of thinking about my diet. My mother has Alzheimer’s and I want to do whatever I can to prevent it. My blood work started showing elevated blood sugar and I couldn’t figure out why.
She coached me to eliminate gluten and to increase the right kind of protein in my diet. I was eating too many carbs.
The migraines continued.