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GRAIN BRAIN - slowing/preventing Alzheimer by eliminating grains? Perlmutter, MD
Old 02-09-2015, 09:21 AM   #1
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GRAIN BRAIN - slowing/preventing Alzheimer by eliminating grains? Perlmutter, MD

Dear All,

A couple of months ago I listened to an interview on NPR (National Public Radio) where Dr. Perlmutter, a neurologist, spoke about halting/preventing cognitive decline by eliminating grains, especially gluten-containing varieties, from our diet.

The book is quite persuasive. I highly recommend a read. Please circle back if you do decide to try going grain-free for a while and find no difference, or greater mental clarity, etc.

Just thought as a group, we may all be interested in preserving our brain power so we can fully enjoy our ER.

I love BREAD so this is going to be hard!!! I've given up wheat for the last 3 days. That's all, just 3 days. I could not go grain-free yet. I ate rice, which was not "allowed" either because it's a grain. It is just not as "bad" as wheat etc.

For what it's worth, consider checking the book Grain Brain out of your library and see what you think.

Wishing everyone a fantastic day!

Retire 2013
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:24 AM   #2
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Moderation?

Obviously people have been eating grains for several millennia, though I guess the latest "science" hinges on sprouting, gluten, etc. I do know dietary guidelines have changed over and over (complete 180's in some instances) throughout my life, seems "science" can be awfully fickle...

Moderation?

Sometimes I wonder how much of the increased incidence in cognitive decline are due to better identification and increased longevity?

Oh, and you can find a (reasonably) convincing argument for about any POV on the internet these days, ain't technology grand? Of course about half of them are wrong, sorting out which is which remains challenging at times...
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:28 AM   #3
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Went six weeks without grains last year. No noticeable cognitive (or health) benefits for me.
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:32 AM   #4
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In 1980, Jane Brody published "Jane Brody's Good Food Cookbook: Eating Healthy the High-Carbohydrate Way."

35 years later, seemingly, the word on diet is just the opposite.

Cue Woody Allen's "Sleeper."

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Old 02-09-2015, 10:42 AM   #5
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I am not sure one has to completely give up grains. While I eat a lower-carb diet, I still eat grains several times a week. I have not noticed any problems from this.

Many things that hurt us are dose dependent. Sugar is an excellent example. If the only added sugar in one's diet is a tsp or two in the morning coffee, most healthy people will probably not be hurt. But, eat huge amounts of it in the morning cinnamon role, the lunch dessert pudding, the afternoon cookie snacks, and the evening dessert cake, and suddenly one is gaining weight and taxing the liver and pancreas.
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:52 AM   #6
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Whenever I read about something controversial in medicine I always look to see what others say. The theories behind Grain Brain are very controversial.

This was a good article that addresses the book in what seems to be a balanced way:

This Is Your Brain on Gluten - The Atlantic

This is an article by Chris Kessler (who is in favor of Paleo eating and is no huge fan of grains) about why he doesn't feel the book is persuasive

Do Carbs Kill Your Brain

And an article by Dr. David Katz (whose work I quite like at Yale Prevention Research Center) who addresses his concerns with the book:

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/822731

Part of his point being that getting rid of refined carbs is one (good) thing, but getting rid of all grains is quite another.
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Old 02-09-2015, 11:02 AM   #7
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He sells a lot of books, but others do not seem to share this view of demonizing grains. Optimizing cardiovascular health has been shown to be associated with lower risk of Alzheimer's.
Alzheimer's & Dementia Prevention and Risk | Research Center | Alzheimer's Association
And whole grains have been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain cancers, etc.
Alzheimer's & Dementia Prevention and Risk | Research Center | Alzheimer's Association

In this interview, Perlmutter himself says people do tolerate "some" grains. His health emphasis appears more on avoiding hi-glycemic index carbs and "bad" fats while promoting exercise and Mediterranean diet. Hardly unique health advice.
http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/819232_3
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Old 02-09-2015, 11:15 AM   #8
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I eliminated sugar as much as I could from my diet over a year ago...and now I need to give up grains?



I gotta tell ya, the first four months were very difficult without the sugar...but I'm used to it now. The main reason I avoid refined sugar is because of its empty calories. I have cut back on grains, but I don't see me going without a little every once in a while.

But thanks for the food for thought. I don't see a problem experimenting with a new lifestyle. Who knows, it could make us feel better.
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Old 02-09-2015, 11:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbamI View Post
I eliminated sugar as much as I could from my diet over a year ago...and now I need to give up grains?



I gotta tell ya, the first four months were very difficult without the sugar...but I'm used to it now. The main reason I avoid refined sugar is because of its empty calories. I have cut back on grains, but I don't see me going without a little every once in a while.

But thanks for the food for thought. I don't see a problem experimenting with a new lifestyle. Who knows, it could make us feel better.
Eliminating sugar, but still eating refined grains doesn't makie any sense, IMO. White flour or other high carbs is just as bad for the body as sugar, and just as empty in calories.

Which is why I always shake my head at the "sugar-free" desserts otherwise loaded with white flour because they're just as bad if not worse for you.
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Old 02-09-2015, 11:25 AM   #10
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Toward the end of 2013, I cut 90% of added sugar from my diet (the obvious no-nos such as cookies, candy, cake...never did eat many other kinds of processed food, where sugar is added to increase palatability). I feel exactly the same (fine). I also lost 7 pounds, and my gums are healthier.

Meanwhile, I've actually increased my intake of whole grains (bran, quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat bread) to help with...er..."regularity." I know, I know...you millennials, just shut your ears. You will never have to worry about such things

Amethyst

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbamI View Post
I eliminated sugar as much as I could from my diet over a year ago...and now I need to give up grains?



I gotta tell ya, the first four months were very difficult without the sugar...but I'm used to it now. The main reason I avoid refined sugar is because of its empty calories. I have cut back on grains, but I don't see me going without a little every once in a while.

But thanks for the food for thought. I don't see a problem experimenting with a new lifestyle. Who knows, it could make us feel better.
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Old 02-09-2015, 11:27 AM   #11
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Gave up diet sodas and all sodas over 10 years ago. Gave up artificial sweeteners over 8 years ago. Gave up "sugar" about the same time. Don't really eat sweets. If I want something I use honey. (can't stand the taste of Stevia). Started using Lactaid milk to get rid of lactose 5 years ago or so. Periodically switch between white and wheat bread but eat either in moderation.
I love bread, which is why I try to stay away from "fresh baked" and I am not giving up pasta!!! or RICE!
My philosophy? Everything in moderation should be ok and I try to stay on the perimeters of the grocery stores. Thanks for the heads up though Retire2015.
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Old 02-09-2015, 11:30 AM   #12
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I have been gluten free for three months at my Doctor's strong recommendation to see if it lowers my thyroid antibodies.

The first couple of weeks I felt a little better, maybe, but now after three months I don't think I feel a difference. So I'm not expecting to see an improvement in my thyroid panel.

I have been eating a little lower carb, as I didn't replace my all my whole grain intake with the equivalent gluten-free carbs.

I suspect for me a key is to eat lighter dinners, and earlier, and I have fallen off the regular exercise wagon a bit and need to get back on. I suspect that will make far more difference than avoiding gluten.
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Old 02-09-2015, 11:38 AM   #13
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I make my own whole wheat bread. In order for it to rise well, I add gluten.

My goodness, now when I go to the store and buy gluten (yes, you can obtain just the gluten -- it comes in a box), I feel like a drug addicted criminal.
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Old 02-09-2015, 11:57 AM   #14
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Wheat in diet: Study on health impact of wheat challenges Stone Age myths and costly diets, providing you go whole grain -- ScienceDaily

Quote:
"Other than for the 2% of the population with a specific gluten or wheat intolerance, the scientific evidence behind many of the most popular wheat and carbohydrate free diets turns out to be surprisingly thin and selectively used. Some will result in a short-term reduction in body weight but the same result could be achieved in the long-term by eating less of higher quality or relatively unprocessed foods. The low carbohydrate diet has now generated its own industry and new product development in the 'free-from' sector means that a typical low cereal and carbohydrate diet may cost most people more yet deliver less."
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:35 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
Eliminating sugar, but still eating refined grains doesn't makie any sense, IMO. White flour or other high carbs is just as bad for the body as sugar, and just as empty in calories.

Which is why I always shake my head at the "sugar-free" desserts otherwise loaded with white flour because they're just as bad if not worse for you.
For the most part I eat 100% whole grain wheat...about 4 slices of bread a week. I normally eat one serving of brown rice once a week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
Toward the end of 2013, I cut 90% of added sugar from my diet (the obvious no-nos such as cookies, candy, cake...never did eat many other kinds of processed food, where sugar is added to increase palatability). I feel exactly the same (fine). I also lost 7 pounds, and my gums are healthier.

Meanwhile, I've actually increased my intake of whole grains (bran, quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat bread) to help with...er..."regularity." I know, I know...you millennials, just shut your ears. You will never have to worry about such things

Amethyst


I take a fiber pill once in the morning and again before I eat supper. That compensates for being naughty....

btw....congratulations on your progress!
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:48 PM   #16
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You might read about natural yeast for breads. It's been pointed out that a lot of the issues attributed to gluten and wheat didn't become an issue until we moved to rapid rise yeasts. The older yeasts that took longer to rise (12-24 hours) break down more of the compounds that they deride when talking about gluten.

As far as baking, it fits in well with the refrigerator/no knead doughs that were a fad a while back. Mix up your flour, water and yeast way ahead of time and refrigerate. We still like to take it out and let it rise more than most folks.
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:05 PM   #17
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For the most part I eat 100% whole grain wheat...about 4 slices of bread a week. I normally eat one serving of brown rice once a week.




I take a fiber pill once in the morning and again before I eat supper. That compensates for being naughty....

btw....congratulations on your progress!
I actually don't think I've made any progress. We shall see.

Four slices of 100% whole grain bread a week is pretty low.
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:21 PM   #18
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You might read about natural yeast for breads. It's been pointed out that a lot of the issues attributed to gluten and wheat didn't become an issue until we moved to rapid rise yeasts. The older yeasts that took longer to rise (12-24 hours) break down more of the compounds that they deride when talking about gluten.

As far as baking, it fits in well with the refrigerator/no knead doughs that were a fad a while back. Mix up your flour, water and yeast way ahead of time and refrigerate. We still like to take it out and let it rise more than most folks.
What about sourdough?
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Old 02-09-2015, 01:39 PM   #19
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What about sourdough?
The natural yeast we grew/use is a sourdough. I think most of them are.
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Old 02-09-2015, 02:02 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by ArkTinkerer View Post

As far as baking, it fits in well with the refrigerator/no knead doughs that were a fad a while back. Mix up your flour, water and yeast way ahead of time and refrigerate. We still like to take it out and let it rise more than most folks.
It's supposedly a Baker's secret that the longer the rise, the better the bread. According to Cook's, the slower the rise, the less negative flavor products are produced by the yeast. So, letting the bread rise overnight in the fridge or a cold area of the house/garage/porch probably makes sense if one has time.

The other trick is to hand knead or not use the Kitchen Aid for more than a few minutes. Apparently, these new fangled machines over knead the dough.

I have no idea of either of the above affects the glutton or other health qualities of the bread. Human nutrition is full of pseudo-science, so be careful of anything your read or hear.
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