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High fat low carb diet pioneers prescribe protein for obesity, migraines, ADHD

Find out how this diet can help.
Little, Brown and Company

Two nutrition experts, Dr. David Perlmutter and Professor Timothy Noakes, are going against the grain when it comes to their diet advice. They concur that high fat low carb diets can help with weight loss as well as numerous other conditions. Now one grateful patient wants to help others by revealing how Dr. Perlmutter's "Grain Brain" diet ended her migraine misery, reported Fox News on July 23.

Lauren Essex suffered from "flashing lights on one side." When Dr. Perlmutter recommended his diet protocol, detailed in "Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers," for what she described as "worrisome" migraines, she was both surprised and delighted with what he told her to eat and the benefits.

"We're desperate for fat," declared the neurologist about his instructions to her to eat foods such as olives and olive oil. "Our immune systems require fat, every cell in your body is made up of a lot of fat, and your brain is more than 60 percent fat."

For Lauren, the high fat low carb diet did more than cure her migraines: It slimmed down her body.

"You start losing your belly fat almost immediately," she said. "I mean, it's really amazing what happens."

Dr. Perlmutter's book specifies precisely which types of foods to eat and which to avoid. "The good fats are the fats like olive oils, nuts and seeds, grass fed beef, wild fish, avocado," he clarified.

And while coconut oil is on the list, avoiding carbohydrates is just as important. "It is a high fat diet that will only work if you cut the carbs," Dr. Perlmutter emphasized.

For those who think that fruit is healthy, Dr. Perlmutter disagrees. If you eat a high fat diet and continue eating carbohydrates such as a lot of fruit, "you're going to stimulate insulin which signals your body to retain fat, and generate new fat and locks up your current fat and doesn't allow you break it down to use as calories," he cautions.

Also an advocate for taking the high fat low carb approach to health and weight loss is Professor Timothy Noakes. He's attracted attention for making a dramatic change in his advice to athletes by telling them to stop carb-loading, reported Health 24 on July 23.

In addition to encouraging athletes to follow high fat low carb diets, Noakes has urged the use of these plans for conditions such as diabetes. In contrast to the traditional view that saturated fat is linked to heart disease, Noakes says that eating fat helps reduce cholesterol.

In an exclusive interview, Noakes revealed that he began his shift after reading "New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great." He recognized that the co-authors were highly respected medical experts who had conducted significant research on ketogenic diets.

“Within an hour I was exposed to 150 research studies of low-carbohydrate diets that I had no idea existed,” he declared. “The work was published in reputable journals.”

And so Noakes used himself as a guinea pig. Within days after cutting carbs, he noticed the difference.

“Within eight weeks I had lost 11kg and improved my running times to those I had last run 20 years earlier,” he said. Moreover, he realized "that my increasing infirmity that I thought was due to increasing age was in fact caused by the high carbohydrate diet that I was eating."

One of the biggest misconceptions, however, is that eating more fat (bring on the butter) automatically ensures nutritional ketosis. In reality, despite the sudden media spotlight proclaiming all Paleo-style and low carb diets to be "ketogenic," nutritional ketosis requires detailed attention to restricting all carbohydrates (including those supposedly good-for-you six servings of fruit daily) while increasing fat and protein. This article offers a detailed explanation of nutritional ketosis, including insights on how much protein to include.

In addition to helping with weight loss, diabetes and problems such as migraines, low carb diets have shown promise in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which impacts an estimated 5.2 million school-age children in this nation. While medication can help, changing a child's diet and making lifestyle modifications can sometimes be even more effective, reported "The Doctors" recently.

Symptoms range from hyperactivity to the inability to control impulses. Because ADHD can result in such different symptoms, it's important to seek out a specialist for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

"Medications are used a lot, and sometimes they help a lot, but there’s so much more to it," said co-host of "The Doctors" and pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears. He expressed concern about the side effects to many of the drugs.

To highlight the potential in lifestyle changes such as diet, Dr. Sears made a televised house call to a six-year-old named Ethan. The little boy's symptoms include problems focusing, aggressive behavior and hyperactivity.

Dr. Sears advised an alternative approach based on his view that nutritional deficiencies could be linked to Ethan's behavior. The decision to choose dietary changes rather than drugs is one that Dr. Perlmutter advocates.

He recommends checking for gluten sensitivity, noting in MindBody Green that "going gluten-free can absolutely lead to remarkable changes in a child’s behavior." In addition, Dr. Perlmutter suggests adding probiotic and omega-3 fatty acid supplements.

In line with his "Grain Brain" diet recommendations, Dr. Perlmutter recommends adding healthy fats to your child's diet and cutting sugar and carbohydrates significantly. Ensuring that your child has adequate levels of vitamin D also is important.

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