GOING AGAINST THE GRAIN
Dr. Perlmutter, a board certified neurologist and College of Nutrition fellow has released a new book called “Grain Brain.” In it, he puts forth a controversial theory that links the consumption of whole grains and incidences of brain disease. His debated theory argues that gluten is a source of inflammation that then causes debilitating brain diseases such as Parkinsons, Alzheimer’s, anxiety, and depression. In his book, Perlmutter argues that eliminating whole grains and gluten from the diet can prevent these neurological diseases.
Perlmutter says that the key to understanding the link is gluten sensitivity. While the most well-known result of gluten sensitivity is celiac disease, Perlmutter believes that the sensitivity can be selective. It could, for instance, skip the abdominal tract and affect the brain instead. Once the body detects gluten molecules, it sends out inflammatory messenger particles that label food particles as the enemy – this then triggers an “inflammatory cascade of cytokine chemicals in the brain” that can lead to chronic conditions such as headaches, cognition changes, or movement disorders.
Perlmutter suggests a move away from our current diet – toward a high-fat diet full of “good” fats such as coconut oil, avocados, nuts, and shellfish. If you’re considering cutting out grains, be sure to check your local grocery store – many of them stock multiple brands that offer gluten free alternatives such as pasta and bread.
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