Do Carbs Kill Your Brain?

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Could the carbs in that banana be contributing to brain fog? iStock.com/IgorDutina

Recently, I’ve been hearing from many patients who have read Dr. Perlmutter’s new book, Grain Brain, and are now concerned about their carb intake. In his book, Dr. Perlmutter suggests that dietary carbohydrates cause high blood sugar, inflammation, and other effects that lead to a “toxic brain,” which can then develop into neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, and others. Based on this line of causality, he recommends that everyone consume a very low carb diet (<60g per day) in order to prevent neurological disease.

First of all, I’d like to point out that very low carb (VLC) and ketogenic diets can be effective therapeutic tools for treating many neurological disorders. I touched on this briefly a while back in my podcast with Emily Deans, and initial studies on low-carb diets and mental health have shown promise. (1, 2, 3, 4) Because Dr. Perlmutter is a neurologist, it makes sense that he would be a proponent of low-carb diets for his patients based on these therapeutic effects.

Does eating carbs destroy your brain and lead to neurological disease?

However, recommending a low-carb diet as an intervention for sick people is very different from promoting it as a preventative measure for the entire population, which is what Dr. Perlmutter does in Grain Brain. His approach would be somewhat akin to recommending that everyone go on the Autoimmune Protocol to prevent autoimmune disease, which would be unnecessarily restrictive and unhelpful. It’s important to realize that just because a low-carb diet can help treat neurological disorders, doesn’t mean the carbs caused the disorder in the first place. While I don’t argue with the idea that refined and processed carbs like flour and sugar contribute to modern disease, there’s no evidence to suggest that unrefined, whole-food carbohydrates do. In fact, there are three compelling reasons why this is not the case.

#1 – We Evolved Eating Whole-Food Carbohydrates

The first reason it doesn’t make sense that carbohydrates cause neurological disorders is that we’ve been eating carbs for a very long time, and we’re well adapted to digesting and metabolizing them. For instance, fruit has been part of the human diet for longer than we’ve been recognizably human, and while starch hasn’t been part of the human diet for quite as long, it’s clear that we’ve evolved mechanisms to digest and utilize it efficiently.

Compared with most primates, humans have many more copies of the gene AMY1, which is essential for breaking down starches. (5) This gene is unusual in that the number of copies varies greatly between populations, with more copies present in populations that consume more starch. This indicates that starch played a significant role in our evolution, and some scientists have even argued that consumption of starch was partially responsible for the increase in our brain size.

In addition to possessing the ability to break down complex carbohydrates, our bodies require glucose to function properly and maintain homeostasis. The fact that humans can produce glucose from protein is often used as an argument that we don’t need to eat glucose, but rather than viewing this as evidence that that glucose isn’t important, we might view it as evidence that glucose is so metabolically essential that we evolved a mechanism to produce it even when it’s absent from the diet.

#2 – There Are Many Traditional Cultures with High Carb Intake and Low or Nonexistent Rates of Neurological Disease

If carbohydrates cause neurological disorders, one would expect to see high rates of dementia and similar diseases in populations where carbs constitute a significant portion of the diet. But as it turns out, many of the cultures that maintain the lowest rates of neurological and other inflammatory disease rely heavily on carbohydrate-dense dietary staples. For example, the Hadza of north-central Tanzania and the Kuna of Panama obtain a high percentage of their total calories from foods that are high in natural sugars, such as fruit, starchy tubers and honey, yet they are remarkably lean, fit and free of modern disease. (6, 7)

Other examples include the Kitava in the Pacific Islands, Tukisenta in the Papa New Guinea Highlands, and the Okinawans in Japan. The Kitavan diet is 69% carb, with a high reliance on starchy tubers such as yams, and sugary tropical fruits such as banana and papaya. (8) The Okinawan diet is even more carb-heavy at 85% carbohydrate, mostly from sweet potato. (9) Finally, the Tukisenta diet is astonishingly high in carbohydrate at over 90%. (10) All of these cultures are fit and lean with practically non-existent rates of neurological disorders and other modern chronic disease. (11)

#3 – Modern Research Does Not Support the Notion That ‘Safe’ Carbs Are Harmful

The claim that carbohydrates from whole-food sources cause neurological disorders is not supported by anthropological evidence. In addition, modern studies on the health effects of carb-dense foods such as fruit also fail to support Perlmutter’s hypothesis. In fact, studies overall suggest that eating whole, fresh fruit may actually decrease the risk of health issues such as obesity and diabetes, and that limiting fruit intake has no effect on blood sugar, weight loss or waist circumference. (12, 13)

As you may know if you’ve been following my website, there is plenty of modern research demonstrating that diets rich in refined and processed carbohydrates are harmful. However, this is not due to carb content alone, and there’s no evidence that whole-food carbs have the same effect. When an author or expert recommends excluding or severely limiting one of three macronutrients that humans consume, the evidence demonstrating harm should be strong—not only because of the inconvenience of following such a restricted diet, but because extreme diets (ketogenic or VLC diets in this case) are not always harmless. In my practice I’ve seen many patients who’ve worsened on long-term VLC diets, including those with adrenal issues and poor thyroid function. Long-term VLC diets can also lead to imbalances in gut bacteria due to a lack of prebiotic fiber, which can result in digestive issues.

As I’ve always maintained, you need to find out what works for you and tailor your diet to your specific health goals, rather than follow a canned approach. This is exactly what I’ll teach you to do in my book, Your Personal Paleo Code (published in paperback as The Paleo Cure in December 2014), which is coming out at the end of December.

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  1. i’m eating loads of carbs, through veg intake rather than grains. I think the value in Grain Brain is recognising carbohydrate as a sugar, and too much of that (including from grains) is proven to be bad for you.

    • You are correct. I am 63 years old now. I ate carbs all my life and was a very health and energetic person. NOW, I suffer from belly bloating, headaches, constipation, insomnia, etc. When I fast, or go without breads and grains, I feel wonderful.
      However, I am practically addicted to carbs, and find it very difficult to give them up, even though I know I will suffer when I eat them. Anyone can become sensitive to certain foods at any age, even if you have eaten them all your life.

  2. “Some people are saying that they eat carbs and are fine and healthy, and I believe you are, but what about when you get older, and you have all sorts of issues. It might take a long time to start showing problems in your health.”

    Brittany, if that were the case, the hospitals would be overflowing.

    Seniors are healthier than ever before.

    We have been eating carbs, oats, beans, wheat…for centuries.

    It’s the wrong carbs, along with stress and other separate issues that are the problems.

    And Perlmutter is not one of the top neurologists in the world.

    Frankly, I think the guy is off his rocker.

    His claims are really off the chart.

    • Don’t hastily assume that the major findings coming out of Dr. Perlmutter’s research is based on a high carbohydrate diet itself.
      His scientific findings are more directly related to gluten and the chemistry our bodies use to deal with it.
      It is high gluten and modern food processing methods compounding gluten levels which are the factors suggesting the need for dietary changes. Low-carb in general is one method proposed to begin to achieve better brain health chemistry because high-gluten is effectively removed from the diet. Gluten is the major component found to be restrictive to ideal neurological chemistry, so it makes sense to limit it in our food choices. Other dietary modifications are aimed at supplementing natural brain chemistry in order to enhance and restore it’s optimal function. And yes, a higher protein/fat, low carb diet is suggested to achieve results.
      I’m on board with Dr. Perlmutter’s research’s findings. I believe that many ailments and diseases which hamper and restrict human health can be attributed to imbalances in the body’s normal function. Our diet’s are one of the most controllable factors in preventing chemical imbalances, whether excess or lacking.
      I am 57 years old and in good overall health. I too, have sustained over the years by consuming a diet fairly high in carbs. My choices had been mostly whole grain and oats, so-called complex carbs, pasta and rice and of course too much high-fructose. I am gradually changing my eating habits:

      Opting out about 30% of gluten carbs for non-gluten grain choices
      Limiting overall sugar and high fructose intake
      Opting out on “Nutrasweet,” “Equal” and the like altogether
      Including more lean pork and chicken
      Avoiding the packaged food aisles in favor of the produce department.

      Replacing typical sauce “mix” and packaged “flavor-enhanced-starchy-gluteny-sugary” prepared foods

      Adding extra virgin olive and coconut oils
      And seasoning less and tasting the basic food more overall

      So far, I am more relaxed and headache-free
      My energy levels are more consistent and I have more digestive “I’m Happy” sensations
      I am carrying more lean muscle and less fat (protein/carb ratio?)

      Now, I’m not saying that there is a “one size fits all” diet. I’m also not saying that low carb diets are necessarily the right direction from a nutrition standpoint. And I definitely do not buy into any “you should do this and believe that” sort of thing just because of a book based on some scientific findings. No doubt, Dr. Perlmutter is just as guilty as so many others in promoting his research as a means of attaining “the limelight” as well as lining his pockets. Who wouldn’t? But if the scientific findings are accurate, then one should be open to the possibilities which can come from them.
      Scientific research is always ongoing-one fact adding to another over time. Evolutionary, not necessarily revolutionary.And we know that the progress science makes for us is ultimately good. If in his zeal Dr. Perlmutter has “over-promoted” and caused people to view his work in a too pro versus con perspective, well that is unfortunate. It’s not like “we’ll die” if we eat carbs or “become ascended geniuses with special mental powers” if we don’t. It’s just that the science appears to be there-maybe we should be too.
      Evolution needs proponents of new ideas-and it can’t happen without followers as well. My eyes are open.

      • I’ve looked at the research over and over again and I’m fairly convinced that some version of the Mediterannean Diet that avoids gluten but includes some high protein grains (like quionia) lots of fish, moderate (smaller) amounts of grass-fed meat, pastured eggs, olive oil, coconut oil, some grass-fed butter, some nuts, and lots of low GI fruits and vegetables is ideal.

      • I think cutting down on carbs is more realistic than cutting them out completely. If we eat less of them we can replace them with more healthy choices like vegetables.
        Less bread, more veg.

    • “seniors are healthier tha ever”

      I could not disagree more. Our state of health is the worst it has ever been in human history. disease is epidemic. good medicine is keeping us alive but not vital.

    • A well respected Neurologist like Perlmutter versus an idiot who says he’s “off his rocker”. Wow, whose theory on what is plaguing our health should believe? Hmmmmm……

      Exactly what are your qualifications and what peer reviewed studies (Perlmutter refers to hundreds of them) can you refer me to.

  3. I refuse to believe some overweight, horribly unfit dude chowing down on dead refined carbs all day, can be compared to my lifestyle (extremely fit, healthy, eating whole foods, some UNREFINED carbs, etc). Research is also constantly changing. In fact it is not so much carbs but they are now finding it’s the makeup of the gut biome. Dead refined carbs can change the biome, bolstering gut bacteria that excrete chemicals that cause these brain issues -where some whole food carbs bolster groups of bacteria that actually provide protective effects throughout the body. Also, long term ketosis is looking very bad in some research. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants. + exercise daiy, avaoid added sugar, additives, preservatives, flavourings, colourings, etc. Not rocket science folks.

    • How can you say “not rocket science folks”? Creating a generalized diet plan for humans as a whole, or for any sub-population is one of the most imprecise things to do. You even said at the beginning that you can’t compare your lifestyle to some other “dude.” The fact that you then proceed to spew your opinion on a healthy diet at others is absurd.

      • Seen the new research just out? Low carb diet fads look to be the cause of recent explosion in bowel cancer. Not surprising as low carb kills off the strains of gut flora which reduce risk of bowel cancer.

          • “Researchers gave 19 obese men a high carbohydrate diet (399g a day) for 3 days, followed by a medium carbohydrate intake (164g a day) for a month and then a very low intake of carbohydrate (24g a day) for another month.

            At the end of each study period, researchers collected stool samples and measured levels of a fatty acid called butyrate. This fatty acid is produced by bacteria in the gut and helps to kill cancerous cells. The scientists discovered that low-carb diets were linked to a reduction in gut bacteria. Furthermore, there was a four-fold drop in cancer-fighting butyrate between the high carb diet and the low-carbohydrate diet.

            Speaking of low-carb diets, Professor Harry Flint who led the research says, “In the long run, it is possible that such diets could contribute to colorectal cancer.””

            I suppose you’ll link me to Atkins blogs scrambling to find was to discredit this research. Of course they will, their incomes depend on it.

    • Exactly! I totally agree! Eat less! exercise more! Small amounts of everything. (except junk food of course).

  4. Sorry I meant to say that Dr. Perlmutter is said to be one of the best neurologists. Having won many awards and such.

  5. Dr.Perlmutter is one of the top neurologists in the world. I think that we can trust what he is saying is at least some what true. Some people are saying that they eat carbs and are fine and healthy, and I believe you are, but what about when you get older, and you have all sorts of issues. It might take a long time to start showing problems in your health. You don’t even have to cut all carbs from your diet, just eat less of them and eat foods that are good for you that contain low carbs. Then you could have a lot less of a chance of developing a neurological problem.

    • Perlmutter is a quack. Google him and you’ll find complaints bordering suggesting neglect at best, complete malpractice at worst. He has jumped on the band wagon of low-carb craze to sell a book. Eat a balanced diet with mostly fruits and vegetables, avoid chemicals, get exercise and sleep, and pay attention and listen to your body (avoid things that irritate). Simple. Like a previous poster said – it’s not rocket science. Fad diets are dangerous.

      • I think diet fads tend to survive due to their incredibly powerful ability to elicit strong placebo effects. Never underestimate the financial fortunes that can be made via placebo effect (homeopathy for example, even most prescription anti-depressants perform no better than placebo in most cases). These diet fads all share a similar formula: -you feel like crap? it’s your diet! -your current diet is KILLING you find out why! -Our diet will restore your health, longevity and happiness just listen to those who have tried it -Now, buy our book, DVD, supplements, subscribe to our website, etc.

    • This is very true. It does take a long time in some cases. Eating less is the best advice all round.

  6. I’m In the process of reading Dr. Perlmuter’s book. I think he is s brilliant neurologist, a courageous trail blazer and has discovered the crux of disorders in many of his patients. The key is that these people are patients and patients have problems that are not necessarily in the rest of the population(s).
    Another point is that we are not all the same, yet there are similarities. Cholesterol is a key component in making most of our hormones, testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, DHEA and cortisol. All these hormones serve important unique functions. However, so far I have not come across any mention that the liver makes about 80% of our cholesterol from other food components.

  7. I have read many books about diet, including the Atkins diet, the raw foods diet, veganism, Paleo, etc. and there are a few common elements to all of them that can be summarized thus–if God made it and it is being raised the way that He designed it to be raised, grown the way it was designed to be grown, if you can grow it or raise it or make it yourself (not in a lab or factory only), then it is good to eat. Each individual needs to decide the amount of meat or grain that is tolerable to him/her according to their own genetic makeup and geographic environment. If you espouse this basic principle, you will not be swayed by fad diets.

    • Which ‘god’ are you talking about? Some advocate for no animal consumption, some prohibits certain specific food like pork or shellfish, and some seem to not have any specific guidelines. I think it’s best to leave ‘god’ to metaphysical purposes, and out of physical world, which science is better at explaining. God also “designed” inedible food for us, and some that may even fool us to eat despite their lethal poison.

  8. My doctor put me on this diet and I am a vegetarian and I don’t eat meat,fish or chicken-I’ve been on it for two weeks and have stomach aches and a smell from my body-I feel like im flooting in oil-he put me on this for restless legs-

  9. I don’t subscribe to any low carb diets for the purpose of losing weight or for maintaining good health. In my experience, low carbs give me low energy. I need protein, carbohydrates, and fats in order to look and feel my best. That means whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and some meat, fish, or poultry along with nuts, seeds and good cheese. The fats I choose come from grass fed and/or organic beef, poultry, high quality fish oil, coconut oil, cold pressed olive oil, ghee, and high quality butter.
    Another words, I eat like my grandparents did!!

    • Same here! I add to this daily exercise and a daily 16hr fast plus plenty of RO water remineralized with a dash of celtic salt. Doc says my bloods and BP are that of a fit 16yr old, cardiologist says I am top 3% of heart health (41yrs old). Yet, most in this thread think I am killing myself!

  10. “If he’s right about his claims. . . .”

    Since there are tens of millions of people eating plenty of carbs, and over half live off potatoes beans and bread, and we are all doing just fine, it’s obvious to anybody who uses his or her brain that he is flat out wrong.

    Unfortunately, very few use their brain.

    • you say we are doing fine? Did you not know there is an epidemic of obesity, type 2 dibetes and all forms of autoimmune diseases??

    • I agree. I really don’t think whole carbs are a problem. I’m pretty wary of gluten, and know that it kills my GI track and makes me break out in terrible acne, but I’m all for some brown rice, some quoinea, and some other “ancient” grains. I do think there is something wrong with wheat.

  11. If I feel good on a specific diet then I think that warrants continuing the diet. I have never felt better in my life than when I was following a strict ketogenic diet, so that’s what I try to do. I think your body will tell you what it likes you to eat. My mother has tried going low-carb and she doesn’t do well with it. Would I encourage her to try it again, this time following all of Dr. Perlmutter’s advice with exactness? Sure. But if she still feels better eating a higher percentage of carbohydrates, then I think that’s what she should do, regardless of what an MD has to say about what those carbohydrates will do to her brain.
    Our own bodies are our best and most reliable source of data. If you consistently follow a specific diet, you’ll know it’s sound, healthy, and right for you if you start feeling and looking better (more energy and focus, brighter skin, leaning up, current diseases/problems are resolved). That’s really all the research you need. But be a good researcher – if you’re going to experiment with something new, don’t do only 50% of it, or even 95%, and then collect your data and expect the results to be an accurate measure of its effectiveness. You have to give it a 100% try. Until you’ve done that, you really shouldn’t be spreading your opinion about whether it works or not.

    Dr. Perlmutter suggests a 4-week plan for better health. If he’s right about his claims, you have the opportunity to save your brain by taking the plunge and trying it out. Awesome! If it turns out he’s wrong, you will have spent a whole four weeks of your life (big whoop-dee-doo) doing some quality experimental research. You can then move on to something else if you don’t like your results, with full confidence that Dr. Perlmutter’s advice was not right for you. Nothing lost, plenty gained.

    • Perlmutter and other low carber/ketogenic dieters have no idea what they are doing to their gut microbiomes. Yes, dead carbs are bad, but good carbs are shown to vastly improve populations of the most beneficial gut bacteria. low carb/ketogenic will be killing them off in mass and once that happens long term you will be in trouble. A healthy diet is 90% ensuring this microbiome is fed the right sustenance. Why? Because these bacteria excrete compounds which are becoming linked to nearly every health problem. Auto-immune? wrong bacteria, food allergies? wrong bacteria, depression other mental disorders? wrong bacteria, obese? wrong bacteria, brain disorders? wrong bacteria. Feed the bacteria good whole foods (yes even carbs, especially resistant starches) are you will maintain their health and yours.

  12. I am currently reading Grain Brain and taking some of it with a grain of salt. I am 50-something, suffer from brain fog, fatigue, frequent insomnia, occasional joint pain, and am about 15 pounds overweight. Most or all of these conditions are probably caused, at least in part, by my high-refined-carb diet. I know that without reading this book. I already enjoy vegetables and have slowly gotten my family to do the same, although perhaps on a smaller scale. I am pretty sure that if I *significantly reduced* the amount of refined carbs and sugar in my diet and *slightly increased* the amount of whole grain carbs in addition to making better protein choices (less red meat, more fish and vegetable sources) and exercising most days instead of some days, I would probably see a fairly speedy improvement in most if not all of the areas where I’m feeling less than young. The main reason I chose to read Grain Brain is to see what the hype is about, but also to find recipe and menu ideas to encourage my husband to make some of these changes with me so we can try to feel less like our elderly parents and more like ourselves.

    • Well, I just got done with experimenting. I went 100% grain free for 3 weeks. I tell you I felt no difference AT ALL. The only difference was dealing with hunger and frustration with trying to find enough to eat. I avoided all “packet” foods and gluten free packet foods. Just whole foods, vege, fruit, nuts, legumes, etc. I literally had no grain. I just wanted to see what happened. Now.. I’ll tell you what had an absolutely incredible impact on me. I started taking Nordic Naturals fish oil, 1 at breakfast and 1 at dinner. I also started having a small handful of organic walnuts and brazil nuts daily (both combined). 2 Weeks after doing this daily I feel incredible. I can’t describe how much better my mood is, energy levels and mental clarity.

      • I have been grain free for over 12 months and have not experienced a single epilectic episode in this entire time. this has not happened since my first episode in 1978. My experience with hunger is the opposite of yours. I go hours longer between meals, energy levels high and lost 16lbs. I do eat plenty of vegies and small amount of meat, fish etc. I eat plenty of healthy fat.

  13. Average Joe here. Was terrible at science, yada – yada. But, this is how I understand things:
    1. You cant compare the USA with other countries in regards to high carb consumption and health because the USA has too many other dietary factors at play. So saying, “other countries eat a high carb diet and they’re fine”, doesn’t work, because they are also not eating all the other types of garbage Americans are eating. So naturally, yes, other countries who eat a high carb diet are way healthier than the USA, but that’s because they don’t eat as much other garbage the USA does (as a whole. I know; you ,of course, don’t eat unhealthy stuff. i.e. preservatives, processed foods, chemical additives, etc, but most of the USA does).
    2. We’ve only been cultivating crops for about 10,000 years, and even then our grain consumption was still lower than today. 10,000 years is only a small smudge on the timeline of the human dietary evolution. Our dietary evolution happened over hundred of thousands of years, where we were only eating a very very small amount of grains. We also ate fruit very selectively because it was harder to obtain than vegetables. Read this article. Take note on the section on agriculture: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/07/28/stone-soup
    Kinda of a sloppy explanation (sorry at work. trying to crank this review out), but I think you’ll get my point.

    • I have just read over comments on this website regarding the book and research of Grain Brain (yet to read!).
      I would like to know if you have and data on this type of diet being helpful for reducing ocular pressure associated with glaucoma? Some specialists say glaucoma is a brain disorder like Parkinson’s. Also aside from the genetic potential to manifest this disorder that past family links to other eye disorders such as MD may also contribute to glaucoma.
      Interested in insights you may have on this diet help such disorder..

  14. I would have thought that fruit and vegetables being anti inflammatory and packed with anti oxidants would actually be good for brain health. I started to read Grain Brain today and only reached a few pages in… just the mention of fruit being bad, was enough for me to put the book down.

    As you say, it’s high time experts started to look realistically at our diet as it was before the introduction of grain, because I feel some of them are way off base. It is confusing a lot of people out there and really it is a no brainer at the end of the day. Most disease stems from the introduction of wheat, gluten etc.

    • There is a lot of sugar in the fruit we eat now, so just read the whole book before you rubbish it. I am a 66 year old male, living in Ne Zealand, I find for myself I need to be careful about the amount of sugars and starchy carbs I consume, as they make my joints ache, whereas Low carbs, plenty of green vegetables seem ok. If you suffer from joint pain try cutting out all starchy carbs and grains stick mainly with green vegetables unprocessed meats and fats. no seed oils. Use butter, olive oil, avocado and its oil. for 2 weeks then start adding low carb veg like carrot and tomato back into your diet slowly and see how that works for you. good liuck.

    • If you would have read the whole book, you would have seen that he was not suggesting that you do not eat fruits. The suggestion simply that you do it in moderation.

  15. I think that the carbs that those specific groups eat are better than the highly processed carbs that Americans eat today. The problem of obesity is because of this and that’s what is killing brains.

  16. Seems to me the problem is not carbs, but the fact that we don’t move about enough to burn them off. That plus the fact that they are usually combined with vegetable fats and grains.

    I notice a massive difference if I eat carbs with vegetable fat added – much more sluggish.

  17. “The science indicates that the more you keep insulin elevated the more prone you are to a range of bad health outcomes.”

    Uhhh, that’s on bad carbs, in addition to other crap out there.

    Of the seven billion people on this planet, over five billion eat grains and carbs.

    If there was a problem, the medical est. would be overwhelmed. We’d be dropping like flies.

    Once again, China, the oldest nation eating grains, wouldn’t be the largest nation in the world.

    Ya don’t need science or studies.

    Jesus…it’s common sense,

    Damn, some people can be dumb.

    • This medical est. of which you speak is overwhelmed, and they are loving it. So is the insurance est.

      I’d also wager that China is not the oldest nation eating grains.

      Looking out my window, I can plainly see the world is flat. That is common sense.

      I do agree with you. Some people can be dumb. Maybe some science and study is in order?

      • There is plenty of evidence that whole grains greatly reduce risk of bowel cancer/colon cancer. Also evidence that they boost key bacteria in the gut biome resulting in better health outcomes. Some of these bacteria keep us from getting auto-immune disorders, cancers, brain disorders etc. Avoid grains at your own risk. Now… boxes of Kraft mac & cheese, yeah sure avoid crap like that.

        • You don’t need grains for fibre. You can get it from veg. Grains are harmful to everyone with compromised gut health unless they are well fermented. People can feed their microbiome with potato starch, green bananas, inulin etc.

    • People breed early in life usually, before they get most of their health problems, so a nations population doesn’t say much about its health.
      A quote from “Food Enzymes for Health and Longevity” by Edward Howell:
      “The available evidence indicates that Orientals on a high-carbohydrate cooked diet, essentially rice, display a pancreas approximately 50% relatively heavier than that of Americans. The salivary glands of Orientals are also larger…This indicates that the pancreas and salivary glands were forced to undergo considerable hypertrophy to furnish the additional enzymes required.”

    • Spoke my mind….hmm..what’s next?…people who drink some water everyday are likely to get cancer? Oh…eating protein will shorten your lifespan? What other ways can “Dr.s” trick us into getting paid by evil “companies”?

  18. There are people who are genetic outliers. They are fit and have rippling muscles and never exercise and eat junk. There are people who smoke for decades and live to 104.

    There are people who have eaten lots of grains and carbs their entire life and have no trace of dementia and live a long life span.. It’s a mistake to look to them to set a standard.

    Based on credible science, that continues to be reconfirmed as time goes by, most people are not well adapted to a diet high in carbs, especially grains and sugar. The science indicates that the more you keep insulin elevated the more prone you are to a range of bad health outcomes.

    • The problem with studies is the variables are very small. Even if a study purported increased alzheimers from carbs, the study will fail to take into account dozens of other variables that could negate the data. For example let’s say mice fed high carbs are slightly more likely to get alzheimers than mice fed low carb. Now, what if the mice on a high carb diet are also exercised, what if they are given a lot of water/hydration, what if they are put on an intermittent fasting diet, suppose they were fed sourdough processed whole grain carbs instead of dead white flour carbs. These additional variables could end up with a high carb mouse with no alzheimers and better health than the low carb mouse. We just don’t know. Which is why I think these studies are cherry picking single issues and extrapolating that. It’s misleading and certainly does not give us the big picture. Now, if they fed mice high carb sourdough processed grains, had them exercise a few hours a day and not be sedentary, gave them plenty of water, had them on an intermittent fasted diet, etc and THEN these mice were getting sick I might find it interesting. Until then, diet and health are too complex to deem any of these studies fool proof.

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