Neurologist David Perlmutter says eating a high-carb diet doesn't just cause weight gain; it also fuels neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's, depression, dementia, and ADHD.
Perlmutter says these conditions can be prevented, and in some cases reversed, by following a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet and ditching the grains and other carbohydrates that are silently killing our brains.
"Fat is your friend," he told Dr. Oz. "The brain thrives on a fat-rich, low-carbohydrate diet."
Dr. Perlmutter, author of "Grain Brain," says the alarming onset of dementia, depression, diabetes and other neurological conditions is due directly to consuming too many carbs.
Ironically, the U.S. government has long advocated a high-carb, low-fat diet, suggesting that Americans eat three to six servings of grains a day — a recommendation many diet experts say is not only unhealthy, but motivated more by greed and politics than public-health considerations.
Contrary to popular belief, Perlmutter says the brain needs essential fatty acids to run properly, and not just glucose (a simple sugar). People who want to maintain optimal physical and mental health should focus on a high-fat, low-carb diet and eschew the grain-heavy dietary recommendations espoused by SAD, the Standard American Diet.
Perlmutter echoes the advice of obesity expert Dr. Eric Westman, who maintains that rapid weight loss and optimal health is achievable by following a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet. "I tell my patients not to fear the fat," said Westman.
Eat lots of fat. Fat makes you feel full. There's no problem with fat. In fact, saturated fat, the fat that we've been taught not to eat, raises your good cholesterol best of all the foods you can eat."
Perlmutter's dietary guidelines include the following:
- Avoid or drastically limit gluten, grains and sugar.
- Limit fruit consumption.
- Ditch sugary sodas, processed foods and junk foods.
- Eat organic vegetables.
- Buy organic animal proteins that are free of hormones and antibiotics.
- Consume omega-3 fatty acids.
- Eat good fats such as avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, fatty fish and grass-fed beef.
While we have come to accept physical and mental deterioration as the norm as we age, Perlmutter says we can prevent or stem such breakdowns simply by controlling what we put into our mouths. "The fate of your brain is not in your genes; it's in the food you eat," he said.