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Low carb diet with healthy fats accelerates weight loss, protects brain health

Find out about healthy fats for your health.
Find out about healthy fats for your health.
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

Dr. Mercola ranks as perhaps the most controversial physician in the nation. But when I read the title of his recent newsletter ("When You Eat This Common Food, You're Laying Out the Welcome Mat for Alzheimer's"), I was intrigued enough to learn more. The "common food" cited in the headline is something of a misnomer. However, his discussion of research showing that eating certain healthy fats and restricting carbohydrates can accelerate weight loss while protecting against dementia offers valuable insights from noted neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, author of "Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers" (click for details).

And if you have time for only two points, consider these key findings from Dr. Perlmutter, based on the latest research:

  • Low-fat diets high in carbohydrates and sugar "are devastating to the brain."
  • Eating carbohydrates such as wheat is "paving the way for Alzheimer's disease."

The question, then: What can you eat to protect your brain? And with the latest research also showing the importance of maintaining a healthy weight for everything from protection against cancer to reduced risk of diabetes, what can you eat to lose weight? According to Dr. Perlmutter, the answer is the same to both questions: A low carb diet high in healthy fats (LCHF).

"You desperately need fat. You desperately need to have good cholesterol in your body. That war on cholesterol is a perversion of the science that was even used to tell us we should stop eating foods with cholesterol," he says.

A commonly asked question: How much carbs to consume? The answer may surprise you: "Fat, protein, and carbohydrates are the Big Three in terms of food. (And) the human requirement for carbohydrates is zero. We require no carbohydrates in the diet, unlike fat and protein."

As for those healthy fats to include, recommendations include avocados, eggs (and we're talking whole eggs, not the chic but less beneficial egg white omelet), coconut oil and nuts. Dr. Perlmutter provides the complete recommended diet for brain health, protection against disease and weight loss in his invaluable book "Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar--Your Brain's Silent Killers" (click for more information).