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Grain Brain

The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--your Brain's Silent Killers

Perlmutter, David

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Grain Brain
The devastating truth about the effects of wheat, sugar, and carbs on the brain, with a 30-day plan to achieve optimum health.

Publisher: New York, NY :, Little, Brown, and Co.,, 2013
ISBN: 031623480X
Characteristics: x, 323 pages :,illustrations ;,24 cm
Additional Contributors: Loberg, Kristin. Author


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Jan 25, 2015
  • Liblo rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

This is a mixture of well-documented science and claims that are not substantiated or are sometimes misleading or incorrect. There is little to no scientific evidence that gluten sensitivity is a common problem, and the author does not present any significant research to support his claim that it is—mostly he supports his case with anecdotes about his patients. The majority of his book, and the stronger part of it, has to do with carbs and insulin and blood sugar and diabetes. But that has nothing to do with gluten, which is a protein, and is unrelated to carbohydrate metabolism. He mixes and confuses these two issues, which makes the book misleading. What scientific evidence continues to support is that whole grains, including those which contain gluten, and fruits are good for you and that highly processed carbs and sugar are not. This book does not make a strong case to the contrary, and it confuses information about gluten and carbs, as well as information that helps clarify the difference between good and bad carbs.

Nov 03, 2014

This book is awesome and is a must read for people with diabetes I am diabetic and over the past few days I have managed to reduce my insulin by a quarter. I use a pump with continuous glucose monitoring; I try hard to keep good control. It can be quite discouraging at times. Therefore I am astonished to see the effect that eating few or no carbs has had on my blood glucose levels and on my health. I feel much more in control and hope to astound my endocrinologist at my next appointment.

Sep 14, 2014
  • Swanacee rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A little dry and even boring in some parts, but worth reading. Full of great info.

Sep 07, 2014

A head-scratcher. Not even the experts agree so lotsa luck deciding whether it's junk science or the keys to the kingdom.
I can offer one insight, or rather, data point.
Most to all of his point is that gluten is bad. For instance, [paraphrase:] 'it causes autism'.
I have autism and tested his claim by a month of high gluten intake. My symptoms didn't worsen.

So i suspect that even if he's right, it's a relatively minor matter.

Aug 22, 2014

Lots of valid opinions and insights posted here. I agree that what works for one will not necessarily work for another, that is true. However Dr. Perlmutter makes a valid point when he states that the majority of doctors have always told us that what you eat has no effect on the skin (your body's largest organ). This is troubling. Does that mean I can ingest cyanide and not have any problems? Does that mean the pills doctor's prescribe don't affect us in any way...what about skin rash side effects from prescription medications? EVERYTHING we eat or put on our skin affects our bodies in one way or another. I pose another question. If genetically modified foods are "safe" for human consumption, why is the food industry so opposed to GMO labelling?? Can they not come up with their usual spin to get all the "sheeple" to follow? I don't buy that for a moment. This is similar to the tobacco industry telling the public for years that cigarettes were safe. They had studies proving otherwise that were kept from the public. Eventually, all the studies on the dangers of GMO, wheat included, will come to light but it has to start with the purchasing public. You vote every time you shop for groceries..One person CAN make a difference! The book is DEFINITELY worth the read. It will make you angry that the government that you thought was protecting you is easily bought by lobbyists... Question, question, question, and research, research, research!

Aug 21, 2014
  • countdonkula rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Nutritional studies are not very helpful for the layperson as they tend to confuse and overwhelm rather than illuminate. I read this book because I wanted to learn some of the science about how the body processes carbs. I am not trained in this field and for all I know, the author could have been making this all up (I don't think he did). Scientists and other "experts" often misinterpret data as well. With that said, you don't need to read this book cover to cover (i did) to implement some changes in your diet. I've been experimenting with my diet for 20 years and this book just confirms my experience. Like I said, I don't understand the science. I just know that I feel like a new person. I've been following a high animal fat, moderate protein, very low carb diet for 5 years and the depression that I had for 37 years has been completely eradicated. Let me repeat that. 37 years of constant depression COMPLETELY GONE. It took about 6 months on a strict diet for the depression to completely fade away, but it has now been gone for 3 1/2 years and my life has changed tremendously. One thing that I disagree with the author on is that I don't recommend eating any grains. They are completely unnecessary in a healthy diet.

Aug 17, 2014
  • cowsonthefarm rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I agree with Peter and Donna - although there was some interesting information such as the positives of a baby arriving by the birth canal versus a C- section, he notes himself around page 158-159 that he is making "logical inferences" when it comes to his conclusions. Anecdotal info is not valid in the scientific community as you cannot base a trend on what happened to 2 or 3 people. Also a number of the studies he quotes are quite old (from the 1990s) or very small samples - eg 700 people which again, would not be valid because a different 700 people may not give you the same conclusion. He also conveniently ignores evolutionary things like our rear molars which are more like a herbivore's (cow, horses) than like a carnivore (cat). We evolved to have grinding molars I would think so we could pulverize grains and legumes since we are true omnivores. I would have found this a better book if he was not so extreme in his views. Let's face it, the spectrum of people getting dementia and Alzheimers is very wide - We are living longer than ever before so it may be associated with longevity - our ancestors supposedly only lived about 30 years so how can you compare? Eat a balanced diet - you don't need this book and for sure you don't need to spend $200+ for supplements for the rest of your life.

Jul 22, 2014
  • lilypad_1 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

very interesting information and delves into how our diet can effect brain efficiency and auto immune disorders such as common allergies.
I am going to give the program a try.

Jun 11, 2014

The book is a complete fraud. Moreover, it is simply the most extreme example of the kinds of exaggerated claims made by the new "diet doctor" quacks that are being promoted my public television stations eager to rake in money from elderly viewers who are worried about their heart and brain health. Being sixty, I might easily be one of the targets, but reading Perlmutter's book just reminded me of now little proof other than practitioner annecdotes these doctors often have for many of the claims they make. The fact that they burry the claims in some other fairly well-known facts (that consumption of excess processed flour and sugar are a source of obesity and diabetes) just tends to confuse the issue that there is no real evidence, for example, that GLUTEN at all is any sort of dietary "toxin" (unless you have an allergy to it). Perlmutter's books is miserable. If it does anything, it should convince you that medical doctors are overrated as "scientists" and probably don't know what they are talking about half the time, or that they are simply writing garbage in order to rake in book profits.

Rather than repeat some of the obvious scientific boners in the book, check out the criticisms in the following site. Admittedly the site promotes whole grains, but it also isolates many of the fraudulent arguments in Perlmutter's book.

Jun 02, 2014

The author has some claims that might strike you as extreme, especially the effect of grains on Alzheimer's and dementia, but he does a great job defending the damage of our diet. This isn't that new (see Going Against the Grain by Melissa Diane Smith, published in 2002) but is still revolutionary. The food industry doesn't like it!

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May 04, 2014
  • 7Liberty7 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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