Can you achieve control over your genes, win at weight loss and prevent Alzheimer's disease? On his Dec. 24 talk show, Dr. Mehmet Oz teamed up with neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, who says that "yes" is the answer to those questions. The key: Cut carbohydrates such as grains and sugar from your diet.
Dr. Oz explained why he's a believer in the controversial approach taken by Dr. Perlmutter, author of "Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers" (click for details). They discussed his concern that the carbohydrate-heavy U.S. diet is actually harming our brains.
Dr. Perlmutter believes that the percentages of fat to protein to carbohydrates should be dramatically different for weight loss, prevention of Alzheimer's disease and reduction of risk for conditions such as diabetes:
- Current U.S. diet: 60 percent carbs, 20 percent protein and 20 percent fat
- Dr. Perlmutter's diet recommendation: 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein, and five percent carbs
So what can you eat if you follow his high fat, low carb diet? You can consume limited carbohydrates daily in the form of unprocessed foods such as fruit. However, most of your diet will consist of healthy fats such as olive oil and avocado, protein such as fish and non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli.
What you might notice: Those supposedly healthy whole grains are missing from this diet. However, Dr. Perlmutter warns that even those whole-grain carbohydrates that are supposedly "good for you" are scientifically shown to cause conditions ranging from depression to dementia, from anxiety to ADHD.
“It may seem draconian,” he said in a recent interview with the Atlantic, “but the best recommendation I can make is to completely avoid grains.”
The point to avoiding grains, Dr. Perlmutter explains, is that you avoid the blood sugar spikes that occur when you eat too many carbohydrates.
“Most grain foods, whether we’re talking about quinoa, amaranth, the very popular grains of the day, the reality is they still are associated with a carbohydrate surge. They have a fairly high glycemic index, meaning that after 90 to 120 minutes, your blood sugar is going to go up, and that is detrimental to the brain," he told the Atlantic.
In addition to reducing your risk of disease and boosting weight loss, Dr. Perlmutter "can help change the way we practice medicine" by using food as medicine, Dr. Oz told the Atlantic.