September 13, 2013

Wellness ALERT- Your Brain: On Carbs!

A low carbohydrate recommendation for both brain and total body health is supported by both history and science.  According to neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, eating carbohydrates and sugar over time may do more harm than simply leading you to pack on some extra pounds. In his new book Grain Brain, which hits September 17th, Dr. Perlmutter attributes — with the research to back it up — the consumption of wheat, gluten, and sugar to a slew of negative health effects including Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and even Alzheimer’s.

“Historically, humans have never had access to any meaningful dietary carbohydrate; throughout our 2.5 million years on this planet, the foods we consumed were either high fat and protein animal products, providing the most efficient sources of calories, or high fiber, as well as extremely low carbohydrate plants and plant products.” In other words, we were not built to intake a high level of carbohydrates. We were designed to be on low-carb, high-fat intake.

The other question this immediately brings up is one of energy — we need carbs and sugar for fuel, right? In reality, the most efficient brain "super fuel" is fat, allowing far better ATP production with reduced production of damaging free radicals,” he says. Indulging in a wheat-and-sugar-laden diet can cause "dramatic and clearly detrimental changes in the brain,” says Dr. Perlmutter. “Even slight elevations of blood sugar — well below the threshold for diagnosing diabetes — very directly predicts the future risk of developing dementia, as was recently described in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine."

While a lot of us LOVE Carbs (I have a sweet tooth that really has no bounds too), its is important to focus on doing what is good and right for the brain and body. I may never fully cut out sweets from my diet but instead of having it everyday, I definitely opt for twice a month or on very special occasions. Be truly "sweet to yourself", balance and regulate your carbohydrate intake and your body will thank you for it.

~ Maryam

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